By Marci Shore for Island Eye News
It took 8 years of research and thought for Chris Bible, aka The Peanut Dude, to publish his book, “How the Peanut Dude Found Gratitude.”
A moment that made it all worthwhile came when a middle school student came up to his Boiled Peanut food truck, regularly situated on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant, and told Bible that the book had changed his attitude. “Hold the peanuts,” Bible, recalled enthusiastically.
“It turned me around. I said, ‘Are you trying to get some free peanuts?’ I asked him. “The kiddo said he had started focusing on what he had instead of all the things he didn’t have.” “I came out and started high fiving him and his friends,” recalled Bible, 36, on the verge of tears.
Bible’s mother and father were both military, and the family moved to Charleston from Hawaii when he was a toddler. Boiled peanuts conjure up many happy childhood memories for him.
He recalls family road trips to Orlando to make them with his Grandmother Bible. Through the years, he’d always made them for himself and for friends.
He’d worked in a variety of fields in his life, including food and beverage and a very successful stint in real estate during the boom in early 2000s.
He and his “business partner,” a yellow Labrador named Hudsen, were flat broke and nearly homeless in 2007. Dejected, yet inspired, he grounded himself in joyful memories of boiled peanuts, and sold his first bag of boiled peanuts in 2007. What Bible preaches in his ‘How the Peanut Dude Found Gratitude,’ book, he practices.
His enthusiasm is contagious, and he passes it along to his customers at the peanut stand, and elsewhere. He was profiled on ABC News for helping ‘Miss Shirley’ Purnell, who was stranded on a sidewalk in Charleston, with the batteries dead in her motorized wheelchair. “When I picked her up that day, she thought I was helping her. She was helping me, baby.”
“When she passed away and her family couldn’t pay to have her released to a funeral home, it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ we were going to do this. It was just ‘how,’” he said. Through news and social media he made people aware of his mission and raised the money in two days at his stand, selling his peanuts and book.
Bible has another book idea in mind, and a brand new formula that allows him to ship his boiled peanuts worldwide. Frozen in a brine solution, someone in Connecticut can place an order and days later, bring their pot to a boil and have a house that smells that boiled peanuts. He wants to present his ideas to the panel of the television show, The Shark Tank, as well.
He said his book has been a hit with not only children, but also with adults. “I think adults can relate to the simple message and exercise in the book, of going down the letters of alphabet to write things they’re grateful for. You just can’t be unhappy and grateful at the same time.”
An avid kitesurfer and resident of Isle of Palms, Bible said he is just “riding the wave of life,” trying to have fun wherever it takes him, and help those he can, all the while trying to staying rooted in his own message.
“I got up this morning, and my hot water heater wasn’t working. The water was cold, but you know I was thankful that I had water. Most sadness comes from not having the right perspective. Gratitude, just gratitude and be thankful, baby.”
For more visit thepeanutdude.com.