Dog Gone Good peanuts by Crossdogs was created in 1986, under the name of Ain't They Good peanuts as an experimental hobby by Gra Whitehead.
I wanted to vertically integrate peanut sales into my peanut farming operation. I learned very quickly the gourmet peanut business utilizes only the best grade of peanuts — very different from the "farmer stock" ungraded peanuts grown on farms.
During my peanut expansion education, a "Dr. Peanut" (I really cannot remember his name. This is what everyone called him.) at North Carolina State University was vital in blueprinting our complete cooking and processing formula. He taught me everything I needed to know to cook the best tasting peanut on the market. I was searching for taste and freshness. Our peanuts taste like real peanuts — I know because I have been eating peanuts since I could walk. My dad would let me drive some of the peanut harvesting equipment to the field at 4 a.m. when I was only six years old. That was a big delight to a young farm boy. Then it was to Melvin's drive-in before sunrise for breakfast, then off to school. What memories!
As I experimented cooking peanuts on vacation, friends encouraged me to sell them because they taste so good. We named the company Ain't They Good so that the "new internet" search engines could find our site faster.
We remained Ain't They Good until I learned about school fundraising. In an effort to target schools, we changed the company name to Down East Peanuts. We thought the teachers would object to supporting a company with improper grammar in its name. After the name change, we discovered just the opposite. The teachers were a non-factor, but our northern customers loved the Ain't They Good name.
As the years passed, our sales reached a leveling off point. My life was in turmoil during these years. You may read about it in our outreach section under Gra's testimony. In 2010, as a result of the many life-changing events during the past fifteen years, I was given a startling vision one night. Information comes from outside sources. Revelation comes from within — the Holy Spirit. I renamed the company, Crossdogs Rescue Ministry, a name that better reflects our future.
Altough our company has been producing gourmet peanuts for over twenty-four years, Crossdogs is in its infancy. Along with the latest name change, we announced we support a dog rescue, in fact, I created Down East Animal Refuge (DEAR) — a no-kill dog rescue located on our farm in 2004.
The "Dog Nation" spurred our sales by 25% each year for the next three years! Just last year, 2017, Crossdogs consolidated DEAR into its operation.
No matter what the name, our peanuts are always Good; they're DOG GONE GOOD!!
Crossdogs is a family, Christian non-profit. I am Gra Whitehead, founder; Tiddly is my wife; Graham lll is my son with his wife Wortley of Wilmington, NC; Neal Goodwin is my daughter with her husband Bill, of Raleigh. We have five wonderful grandchildren!
Nancy Harrison of Virginia Beach is my oldest sister; she is instrumental in decorating our office each Christmas.
Suiter Coxe of Georgetown, SC is my youngest sister. Many of you may remember her in the early years of Ain't They Good, she managed the telephone orders. Her husband, Rags, is a rector at the Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church.
Since this is a family business and all of my family has helped in one way or another, I want to take time to put a plug in for them:
My wife Tiddly works and lives in Raleigh as a real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway — YSU. She knows houses!
Graham of Wilmington is a salesman for Atlantic Packaging — selling all kinds of packaging materials.
Neal of Raleigh is a photographer specializing in black and white children's pictures.
Bill of Raleigh has an executive Search company — Goodwin Search.
I am very proud of my entire family!
Thank you for your support of our peanuts as we look forward to the future with you as a Dog Gone Good customer!