The Chewelah Farmer’s Market has gotten a little… nutty.
Dean and Diane Smith, who formerly ran the Market Cafe with their famous fish tacos, decided to go a different direction.
Their solution? The Nut Shack, providing a wide variety of gourmet nuts and candy for people to snack on. These aren’t your normal Planters peanuts either, the Smiths season, smoke and roast them to perfection.
“We decided to do nuts because you just don’t see anything like this around here,” Dean said. “We tested the recipes on our friends before offering to the public and they were a hit.”
The whole process for The Nut Shack – which currently sells exclusively at the Chewelah Farmers Market and through phone orders- takes about three days as Dean and Diane ensure their product is fresh as can be.
“We try and be as consistent as we can with our recipes,” Dean said.
Some recipes are family secrets but they’re all varied. The nuts are mixed with fresh herbs and unique spice mixtures.
Customers can down Orange Sherry Walnuts, Bourbon Smoked Almonds, Uncle Louis’ Nuts, Raspberry Habanero Hazelnuts, Savory Smoked Almonds and more.
Dean and Diane also go the extra step for the nuts, such as soaking the almonds in bourbon for six hours, or using hickory and apple wood to smoke the nuts. They use a commercial kitchen in town for the processing.
“Nuts are healthy and good for you,” Dean said. “They have calories but they’re good calories. They’re filling and satisfying.”
They also make Chocolate Almond Bark made from imported Belgium chocolate (72 percent cacao) and buttery English style Toffee for those looking for a sweet treat . In all, they sell roughly 20 pounds of product every Friday at the Farmers Market.
“We just love to cook and entertain. We’ve been cooking for 30 years,” Dean said. “When people love our cooking, it is gratifying and that brings us joy.”
The Nut Shack is working on a website, is listed on Facebook and looking to go to other markets if time allows. They also accept all major credit cards through Square, and accept SNAP and EBT.
Dean and Diane Smith have been part of the Farmers Market for five years and sit on the Board of Directors.
So if you’re hankering for a snack on Friday, make sure you stock up on some nuts at the the Chewelah Farmers Market.
By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff