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‘Walnut brothers’ turn unlikely hobby into full-blown business

Topeka brothers harvest walnuts
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:18 PM CST
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Topeka, Kan. (KWCH) - An unlikely hobby kept two young Kansas brothers busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they’ve turned that hobby into a full-blown business.

Nine-year-old Evan Roberts and six-year-old Ryan Roberts are co-owners of Nutty Buddies, building off their newfound expertise in harvesting black walnuts. With the help of their parents, the boys started their own business in the early stages of the pandemic.

“We were looking for ways to keep them active and engaged and they’re always curious and looking for ways to make money,” Evan and Ryan’s mom, Jessica Roberts said. “So, their grandpa had suggested harvesting back walnuts. It’s something he saw his grandparents do growing up, sow started doing some research, watching YouTube videos.”

Evan said he likes to education others about what they do.

Ryan explained many uses of black walnuts, including cookie recipes that call for them.

With the family harvesting thousands of nuts, Evan said the work is sometimes hard, “but we get through it.”

The brothers are close to reaching their goal of earning $650 this season. With the money, Evan said he wants a fishing boat.

“I’m saving up all my money to get a Lamborghini when I’m older,” Ryan said. “I’ll have plenty of time to get it because I’m just a kid.”

What started as a quarantine hobby is now something Evan and Ryan say they’re excited to carry on for many years to come.

“It means a lot to me and it’s really fun and I get to spend a lot of time with my family,” Ryan said.

Evan put the hard work required for the business to keep going into perspective.

“That’s just the life of a businessman,” he said.

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