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For Just Peanuts? No way! These brothers sell much more than boiled nuts to their hard-core Southern-food fans.

By P. Kelly Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What: Mail-order snackfoods, Southern-style
Who: Matthew and Ted Lee of LeeBros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue
Where: Charleston, SouthCarolina
When: Started in 1994

"The idea that you can build a successful business onmail-ordered boiled peanuts is pretty far-fetched," admitsMatthew Lee. "But people grow up in places and develop verystrong attachments to food." For Matthew, that particularsnack of choice is boiled peanuts.

Prior to starting their mail-order business, Matthew and hisbrother, Ted, were living in New York City, trying to establishcareers in art and publishing, respectively. With their professionsgoing nowhere, the pair sought solace in their favorite childhoodtreat-those unroasted peanuts boiled in salty water and thenconsumed by cracking open the softened shells and slurping out thecontents. But when Matthew couldn't find any in New York, itdawned on him that other transplanted Southerners probably had ahard time finding their favorite Southern foods, too.

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