Success is sweet for local entrepreneur Vikki Kenyon… almost as sweet as those irresistible cinnamon sugar almonds.
Vikki always knew that she wanted to be a small business owner. After living in Georgia, she returned home to NEPA and turned that dream into a reality. In 2018, Vikki and her mother, Dotty Kenyon, purchased an existing nut roasting business and made it their own.
Vikki’s Nut House started off as a mobile vendor. The mother-daughter team set up stands at local fairs, festivals and craft shows, but the time came to grow the business even more. Vikki entered the Small Space, Big Dreams contest at Scranton Public Market, where she won a one-year lease in the marketplace and other perks to expand her small business. No need to wait until county fair season anymore— thanks to the new location, customers can find Vikki’s fresh-roasted almonds, pecans, cashews and more year-round.
How long have you lived in NEPA?
I lived in NEPA most of my life, but I lived in Georgia for about three years. It was a great experience, and I grew up a lot in that time, but ultimately, I decided that NEPA was where I wanted to call home.
What did you miss most about NEPA?
The food, obviously. We have the best food in NEPA, especially the pizza. I’m a big fan of T.C. Riley’s and their sister business, Back Road Ale House. One Christmas my parents came to visit me, and they brought me three trays of half-baked pizza. They would also send me Herr’s salt and vinegar chips, which is kind of silly, but they don’t sell them in the South. Middleswarth, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, those were specifically the things that I would have them send me all the time because I missed them so much.
Other than that, NEPA is really unique with having festivals, craft shows and fairs every weekend it seems like. We celebrate everything from cherry blossoms to pierogies. That’s something that didn’t happen where I was living in Georgia. There was none of that community feel that I really love about this area.
What brought you back to NEPA?
My family. I ultimately moved back because my sister was pregnant at the time, and I really wanted to be a part of my nephew’s life. I wanted him to know his aunt. It was my family and my friends that brought me home. My roots are here.
What’s your favorite thing to do in NEPA?
Hiking. I’m an avid hiker. I love to be outdoors, and this area has a lot to offer when it comes to being outside. I like the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen. It’s so beautiful. I try to go hiking at least once a week. That’s what’s nice about being a small business owner—I have a little flexibility where I can make time.
What’s next for you?
My mom and I have a new business venture that we’re working on right now. I don’t quite want to reveal what that is yet, but it’s a really exciting time for us. We’re doing all of the logistics and planning now, so hopefully within the next few months, we’ll be launching that second business. And we’ll still have the nuts, of course.
Where do you see NEPA heading in the future?
I’m excited for the future of the Scranton Public Market. Local vendors and businesses can really thrive here. I hope that people will start to come here more and realize that it’s a nice place to go out on the weekends. The more people that can come out and support the Scranton Public Market, the more successful we can all be and really come together as a community.
NEPA is a great place with a lot of opportunity, especially for being a small business owner. Our community really supports local, and that’s not something that you get everywhere, so I’m very grateful for that. I think NEPA is really a hub. There’s so many things you can do here, and there’s so much opportunity here. I just love it.
You can find Vikki’s Nut House at Scranton Public Market on the second floor of the Marketplace at Steamtown. They’re open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also find them at local fairs and festivals.
At DiscoverNEPA, we celebrate everything that makes Northeastern Pennsylvania a great place to live, work and play. Now, we’d like to share your story. You planted roots in NEPA. You’re doing business here, creating art here and living your best life here. Whether you spent your whole life in NEPA, came here from someplace else, or moved away and eventually made your way back, we’re curious –
About the Photographer
Originally from Williamsport, Courtney is a 2019 Marywood grad. She enjoys discovering the often-overlooked beauty of NEPA, making clean Jeeps dirty, and cuddling with her chunky cat, Marley.