7 Reasons You’ll go Nuts for this Phoenix Nut Butter
This blog post was written by Local FIrst Arizona intern Alyssa Hagerbrant
Crunchy or smooth; almond or peanut; raw or roasted; nut butter lovers are used to taking sides when it concerns their spreads. However, all can unite around Peanut Butter Americano’s nut butter that’s low sugar, charitable, and locally owned and roasted.
Peanut Butter Americano is a nut butter company which calls Phoenix home, and yet the business idea was created over 5,000 miles away in Uruguay when founder, Jeff Malkoon, was backpacking through South America. Jeff realized that while peanuts are native to South America, there are no or few commercial nut butters sold in South American grocery stores. At the time, Jeff was also volunteering with a nonprofit TECHo, which builds homes for low-income communities.
Once back in Arizona, the Head Nut, Jeff, sought to create a nut butter for the South America market and a portion of whose proceeds would go back to TECHo. With the help of operations director and sister, Denise Malkoon, Jeff has grown the company to start its international climb into Canada, where 120 stores carry their product. This ambitious brother-sister duo has been awarded the Emerging Exporter Award from Mayor Greg Stanton and AZ Commerce.
Whether you've tried Peanut Americano's products or not, we've got 7 reasons you'll go nuts for their nut butters:
1. Freshest nut butter in Arizona
The average jar of Peanut Butter Americano's nut butter you find at an Arizona farmers market has been roasted and grounded in the last 24 hours. The raw almonds and peanuts are shipped from nearby farms and roasted then grounded every week in Phoenix. Jeff clarified that nut butter’s shelf life begins once it’s been roasted, “it’s truly just the freshest nut butter that you can get as an Arizonan.”
2. Owned and operated by native Arizonans
It’s rare to cross paths with someone born and raised in Phoenix. Jeff and Denise’s family have lived in Arizona for over 100 years, first emigrating during the mining boom. It seems supporting local businesses runs in the family as Jeff’s favorite restaurant is Cheese ‘N Stuff, and he has stories of his mom frequenting the same popular deli in the 70s.
3. Recyclable containers
Each one of their containers is recyclable in Phoenix. Just make sure to give the jar a quick rinse before you toss it in the recycling bin!
4. Socially-responsible company
Over five years Peanut Butter Americano has raised over $10,000 of in-kind and monetary donations. Those proceeds benefit low-income communities across the Americas receiving housing aid from the nonprofit, TECHo, as well as local food banks like St. Vincent de Paul and St. Mary’s Food Bank. As Denise put it, the company has "local ties and global goals.”
5. Low sugar
Every nut butter has an average 2.5 g of sugar and this was no accident. Jeff commented that “one of the happiest days of my life is when we were able to eliminate cane sugar from the recipe for cinnamon honey…and just use local honey as a sweetener.” This means that Peanut Butter Americano's butter is mostly just peanuts and much healthier than other conventional brands.
6. Empowering communities across the globe
It’s no surprise that Peanut Butter Americano is all about local empowerment, given they’re a member of Local First Arizona. The charity the company supports, TECHo, is a South American nonprofit that not only constructs homes in low-income communities but empowers volunteers to serve in the country they call home. This youth-run organization focuses on giving locals the tools to tackle future challenges and build a long-term volunteer resource. Jeff commented that it was, “beautiful to see local kids taking initiative for their own community, not just a bunch of Americans coming in doing it for them.”
7. Family-owned business
Jeff runs the company with his sister, Denise. Their mom even helped them pitch their product to Shark Tank’s Daymond John in a start-up business competition.
+ a bonus reason to go nuts!
Head Nut Jeff Malkoon is eager to give back to local youth looking to start food businesses. He joined the Local First Arizona Foundation and Good Food Finder this summer to share his story with the Marketing and Culinary Arts students from Superior and Miami High Schools. Check out his presentation here.
If you’re ready to get a taste of Peanut Butter Americano, you can purchase every flavor online here, at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, at select local grocery stores, or at Peanut Butter Americano’s booth at Arizona Fall Fest on Saturday, November 4th, 2017. If you're interested in businesses who are doing good in their communities, you should also check out the Social Entrepreneurship Summit on October 4, 2017.
Photos used in this post were provided by Peanut Butter Americano.