Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ann's House of Nuts In Columbia

My grandfather and his brothers eventually shut down their company that manufactured womens nightgowns.  (Uncle Adrian's standard line: "I have been in ladies' underwear my entire life.")

They shuttered the Bridgeport factory and moved into World Headquarters for another decade.  It was a converted two-bedroom house behind a gas station.  Rundown.  Completely unprofessional.  But a place where the brothers went daily to talk, read the paper, and be ready for the main event: lunch.  At one point, they had stationary with "World Headquaters" across the top.

Ann's House of Nuts isn't as ironic.  Ann's is a serious nut and trail mix company with a factory in North Carolina, and their world headquarters on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia.  It's a real headquarters with a serious retail store.

Ann's retail store sells a few different lines.  Up front was an outlet section -- big bags of peanuts or yogurt-covered raisins for $1.  Much of the store was Ann's House of Nuts branded stuff -- nuts, trail mixes, rice crackers, and more.  Then the back was bulk items, including candy and tons of baking supplies.

Obviously, you should go to Ann's for nuts.  My nephew and I got a huge bag of peanuts, and they had walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and almonds.  You can buy pounds of nuts if you needed, including whole nuts in their shells if you wanted to put out a bowl with a nutcracker.

But fall is the perfect time to check out Ann's for all kinds of stuff.  Seasonal stuff and candy for Halloween.  Baking supplies like sprinkles and chocolates.  Exotic dried fruits like figs, kiwis, etc.  I had expected a pretty basic outlet, but Ann's runs a professional space.  It's shelved and displayed like a regular store, and they worked the crowd -- winning over my nephew with a lollipop.

Ann's House of Nuts store is open weekdays.  I don't know nut prices, but I got the vibe that prices were good.  The outlet stuff was clearly a deal, and the rest seemed like an amazing selection with reasonable prices.

Ann's House of Nuts World Headquarters
9212 Berger Road
Columbia, MD 21046

NEAR: Ann's faces Snowden River, but it is actually on Berger Road.  You turn onto Oakland Mills Road -- a right turn if you're coming from Rte 32 and a left if you're coming from Rte 175.  Then right on Berger Road.  Click here for coupons.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder. I keep meaning to stop in there. An outlet section is just enough to entice me. ;-)

Sarah said...

They have a great, cheap spice section. Our best buy there? Sundried tomatoes not packed in oil for dirt cheap.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, Ann's closes at 3pm on Friday and is not open on weekends.

Sheri said...

What's the deal with pine nuts this year?? They're dang near priceless - and not in a good way!! :(

Laila said...

We are "regulars" at Ann's House of Nuts-back from when they were in their Jessup location near the Maryland wholesale market (which you should also blog about!). Anyway, the deal is, you have to look for their-well, deals. They work as liquidators for nuts and trail mixes-so sometimes they get in a huge shipment of stuff they need to sell and mark it down for insanely cheap (I once found pine nuts, which usually run for about $10 a lb for the short chinese variety and $20 for the longer south Asian and middle eastern varietes, for $4 a lb!). There was also a week where they had dried blueberries and organic dried cherries for $2 a lb-an absolute steal!

Marcia said...

I finally got to Ann's yesterday. I was pretty disappointed. I bought a couple things, and the only thing that was not stale was a bag of mixed dried berries. Dates - no taste at all, and stale, same with the smoked almonds and another nut mix I bought. I'll stick to Jeppi's Nuts in Timonium, even if it isn't Howard County.

I was surprised, because for a weekday afternoon the place was busy and people were buying. So food isn't sitting on the shelf forever.