Congressional staffers tour peanut shelling facility in Atmore

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2021

One U.S. Congressional staffer turned to another and said seeing Coastal Growers LLC’s peanut shelling facility is similar to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Fourteen U.S. Congressional staffers toured the Atmore peanut shelling facility this morning. The staffers represented offices from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Arkansas.

Coastal Growers LLC COO Dirk Lindsey led the tour, which included the facility’s main office, the Alabama Department of Agriculture’s future site, the four storage houses and the shelling machines, to name a few.

“We think we will produce the best quality of peanuts in the U.S.,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said by this time next year, Coastal will have 100 employees hired.

Construction on the facility began in October 2020, and the facility is slated to receive peanuts for processing this fall.

Lindsey said the construction has been so detailed that between 40-140 contractors have been on site at one time since the beginning.

Lewis M. Carter of Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing, the peanut shelling facility’s designer, also toured the fifth-generation facility.

During a pre-tour meeting, Lewis humbly added that every peanut shelled in the United States is shelled with his company’s equipment.

“Today my staff, along with Congressional staff from Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and other districts in Alabama, had the opportunity to see firsthand the incredible shelling facility being built right here in Alabama’s First Congressional District,” Rep. Jerry Carl said in a statement. “Thanks to the hard work and significant investment by Coastal Growers, this facility will create more than 100 jobs for the local community, while giving our local peanut farmers the opportunity to maximize their earnings and ensure increased sustainability for their family farms. I greatly anticipate the opening of the facility soon, and I look forward to the impact it will have on Alabama and our entire region.”