Owner, Residents Still In Disbelief After Overton's Peanut Butter Emporium Goes Up In Flames

The Peanut Butter Emporium was not just a thriving downtown business, but it was also Carrie Parsons's home.

"I don't think it's even settled in our brains, yet, that it's absolutely everything," she said.

Parsons said she and her son were at home, right above their business, when the fire broke out.  Officials said it started in the cleaners, behind their store, which they also owned.

Parsons said her husband came home and got them out just in time.  "By the time we came downstairs, the flames were so high," she said.  "All we could do, all night, was praise God for keeping us safe."

For six years, the Parsons Family has been making peanut butter from scratch in the old building.

"[It was] a wonderful restaurant, big in the community--hardworking people," said Jaime Copeland.

Peter Cortopassi said he stopped in one day and tried it.  "I go through a jar a week.  It's the best peanut butter in the world," he said.

Rachel Ray thought it was pretty good too--she featured the peanut butter in one of her magazine issues.

The building has come a long way.  Overton Fire Chief Bill Wall said it has stood on Henderson Street since, at least, the 1940's--a drug store, then a ladies' dress shop, and then the Emporium.

"It brought back a lot of old memories," he said.  "It's sad."

The building may be destroyed, but not the spirit of community--that's one thing, for which Parsons said she's especially grateful.

"We're thankful for all the prayers and all the people that care.  We've got God, and we'll go on from here."

A fund has been set up at First State Bank of Overton.

Clothing and other items are being accepted at Overton City Hall.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com