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Downtown Columbus’ oldest retailer sold to new owners and moving locations

Downtown Columbus’ oldest retailer sold to new owners and moving locations

Sav McKee

That iconic neon sign on the corner of State & High – you know the one, with Mr. Peanut wearing a monocle – is getting a new home, and new owners.

The Peanut Shoppe, which first opened in 1936, is moving (again), under new ownership. Mike & Pat Stone have owned the Peanut Shoppe since 1996, and after decades of working there, then owning the shop, they’re ready for a new adventure. 

“At this point in our lives, it’s time to stop and smell the roses,” laughed Pat. “We’re going to travel with our free time – and we’re celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and going to Hawaii for 2 weeks.”

Ironically, the Peanut Shoppe is what helped the Stone’s even get to their 50th wedding anniversary. “It’s been part of both of our lives since we were just kids,” Pat reminisced. In 1972, Mike worked there so that he could afford to take Pat on dates to Burger King. “For $1.50 an hour, he wore the old Mr. Peanut parade costume, dressed as an 8 ft Mr. Peanut, and walked around Downtown,” she laughed.

After the managers retired in the mid-late 80s, they asked Mike to take over as manager. Pat eventually started managing the store in the early 90s while in grad school, as Mike wanted to get back to architectural design. But then, the owners asked them both to take over the entire store, and Pat said that it felt right. “It just happened upon us,” Pat said. “We absolutely love it, and we love what we do.” 

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Pat & Mike Stone; photo via Facebook

But all good things eventually come to an end. Their lease is up in August, and the duo had a tough decision to make. Do they close the entire store? Sell the brand? Just move locations and commit to another 5-10 year lease? 

 “One of our customers came to us and said they had some properties we might want to look at if we decide to move locations,” Pat explained. “But we decided not to move the store and to not continue owning it. So I called the property owner and told them we don’t want to enter a long term lease, and he somehow knew somebody that he thought would take over the business.”


In come Matt & Kate Powell, the new owners, who are committing to keeping the Peanut Shoppe’s tradition alive, but spicing it up a little bit too. Literally. Pat said that they’re going to bring in some fun flavors of the month, like Dill Pickle spiced nuts. “I keep hearing from my customers, ‘Don’ let them change anything!’ But they’ll keep the old stuff that’s good and bring in new stuff that’s good, too. And [the Powells] will have a larger presence on social media.

The Peanut Shoppe’s last day at 21 E. State St. will be on July 27, and hopefully their new shoppe will be all ready by Mid-July, located right around the corner at 4 E. Broad St. 

“It’s coming full circle,” Pat emphasized. “The Mr. Peanut Shoppe first started on the corner of Broad, and now he’ll be caddy corner to the original location.” The first-ever Mr. Peanut Shoppe opened in 1935 at 14 N. High St., then moved to 5 S. High St. in 1936. Then, in 1978, the Downtown staple moved to 46 N. High St. In August of 2014, it moved again to its current spot on E. State St., and now, it’s moving on over to Broad.

The one-of-a-kind neon sign, which experts say contains milk glass dating back to the 1930s, will absolutely be following the shop, just as it has for almost a century.

“We probably could have sold the sign and all of that, but it’s not about the money. It’s about history. It’s about all the customers that come in and tell us their stories from childhood,” said Pat.

She continued, “We’ve seen so much go on Downtown, from the hustle and bustle that was the 70s, then the downturn in businesses and people. Yet, our little Peanut Shoppe has been able to muddle through world wars, riots, pandemics, and recessions. We’ve been lucky and blessed. If it wasn’t for the loyalty of our customers, we wouldn’t have made it through. Every sale counted, and saw us through, and now the store will even be more prosperous.”

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