Welcome to the Nut House!
Welcome to the Nut House! Those may not always be words we want to hear, right??? Well, I guess it depends on who is saying them to you. There have been 5 generations that have been welcoming people to The Nut House since 1985 when Bill & Lavonne Sorrell opened their business, Sorrell’s Nut House, 3 miles south of Comanche, Ok.
This is a Nut House that is stocked full of pecans, peanuts, jams, jellies, syrups, dried fruit, and that wonderful home-made fudge that is a hit for whatever occasion you buy it. When you walk through the front door of the store, you know you’re going to be taking home some of these delicious items. Even if you’re just running in to grab a bag or two of pecans for your own baking, you just know you’re going to have to treat yourself to something sweet from behind the glass of the fudge counter.
We need to go back over 100 years to the beginning of this story. Lavonne Lindesmith Sorrell’s grandfather, William Lindesmith, and his family were some of the first to graft improved varieties of pecans onto native trees. They were known throughout Oklahoma as pioneers of this innovative technique. These trees are still producing in Stephens and Jefferson counties. They owned a small house southwest of Comanche out of which they sold pecans and called it The Pecan House. After William’s death, his sons continued the business at the same location.
In the late 1940’s, Bill bought 160 acres of land on Dry Creek Bottom that contained part of the Lindesmith pecan orchards. In 1963, Bill & Lavonne started selling pecans out of their garage. A few years later they built a small building and added crackers for those that brought their own pecans to them to be cracked. They had the entire family, including grandkids, involved in the business. This building had a couple of additions made to it but they were continually outgrowing their space. So in 1985 Bill decided that it was time to build a building that would be large enough for the business to continue to grow and also move it to a more convenient location for their customers.This is when they moved to the present location.
After the move to the new location, the business grew more than was expected.The orchards in Oklahoma couldn’t keep up with the demand so Bill went to Texas to buy pecans for the store.After the first year of doing this, he bought his first orchard in Texas and he and Lavonne bought a second home at Proctor, Tx.When the Surplus City building in Duncan was being torn down, Bill acquired it and used the materials from it to build a cleaning plant in Proctor. The cleaning plant was used to clean the pecans from the Texas orchards that would be sent to the store in Oklahoma. He also cleaned pecans at the plant for other commercial growers.Eventually he and his family would own and operate approximately 1,000 acres of prime pecan orchards in the area of Proctor In 2006 part of these orchards were toured by the members of the Texas Pecan Growers Association. In 2014, after 28 years of being on the road back and forth from Comanche to Proctor, Bill decided that it was time to move back home so he, along with his family, decided that it was time to sell the orchards.
There have been several homeschool and Farm to Table tours at Sorrell’s Nut House.The children get the opportunity to watch the process of the pecans being cracked, going through the sheller and the blower, and finally to the inspection tables to remove any pecans that aren’t first grade.They then go to the packing room and get to see the packaging process. The next thing on the list is seeing how the praline pecans and fudge are made. Each child leaves with a bag of goodies.
The next time you hear someone say “welcome to the Nut House”, just think of all those delicious treats that are waiting for you. There’s a big assortment of fudge flavors and everyone has their favorite. The store also has a large shipping business with packages going out almost daily through USPS.Store hours are Tuesday-Friday from 9-5 and Saturday 9-3.
Hopefully Sorrell’s Nut House will still be around for the next 100 years.