WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Nifty Nut House has hired two new nut roasters after their long-time roaster left on August 2.
The roaster is in charge of making a majority of the almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and pecans the shop sells to customers.
KSN spoke with the man who held the job for nearly six years.
“They gave me the opportunity, and I said, ‘heck, yeah let’s do it,'” said Jason Lawhead.
Lawhead, 43, is leaving the roasting business on good terms. He decided it was time for an employment change.
“For somebody who has done it for five and a half years you start to feel it, you know, your shoulders, your back, but I am thankful for it,” he said.
What does it take to be a successful nut roaster?
Lawhead said it takes good time management, organization and most of all strength.
“Make sure you are in shape. Make sure that you have strong shoulders and a strong back because there is a lot, a lot, a lot of lifting,” Lawhead said.
He said the employee must be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
“We lift Spanish peanut bags that weigh 110 pounds per bag. The cashew bags, or the cases, they are generally 50 pounds a piece. Then, when you combine them all together you end up with about 150 pounds of cashews or almonds or pecans,” he explained.
Lawhead said it’s also important for the employee to be able to work in a fast-paced environment especially during the holidays.
“There is no stopping. It is pedal to the metal,” Lawhead said.
While working as a roaster does include some tough labor, Lawhead said it also comes with a lot of joy.
“My favorite part of the job has been the people I have gotten to meet from working here and just getting to be a part of something special. The Nifty Nut House is a special part of Wichita, just getting to be a part of, a small part of a big thing,” he said.
The Nifty Nut House started looking for a new roaster in late July. The owner said several dozen people applied for the position.
On Thursday, The Nifty Nut House said it had hired two new roasters, but said other employment opportunities will likely be available during the holiday season.