By 1983 The Peanut Van had grown enough to be turned into a company. But
in 1984 the van was flooded out twice and broken into several times. Worse,
failed crops that year meant that Ruth had great difficulty obtaining enough
peanuts to meet her demanding quality standards.
So in 1985, The Peanut Van began buying and preparing its own nuts (rather
than simply retailing other people's peanuts). This gave us complete quality
control over all our peanut products for the very first time.
The next year, though, Ruth had an accident which left her with a permanently
injured foot. So rather than do everything herself (as she'd mostly been
doing up to that time) she took on extra staff to handle the serving and
Fortunately, by this time word had spread about The Peanut Van's extraordinary
peanut lines and turnover rose right along with the new staffing levels to
cover everything. This also created several new jobs in a town that desperately
needed them at that time.
In 1987 the road in front of the Van was widened and the former Kingaroy
Shire Council suggested The Peanut Van should relocate. However, Ruth was
able to persuade the Council that the Peanut Van should simply shift onto
the footpath instead (which is where it is today).
The reason Council agreed was that by this time The Peanut Van had become
one of the best-known sights in Kingaroy. And because of Ruth's vision, it
was also one of the area's major sources of tourist information.
The next year, though, the Minister for Police gave Ruth 24 hours notice
to shift the van after an anonymous complaint about its location was made
to the Department of Main Roads. Again, Ruth fought the decision and won.