Naturally Nutty Nut Butters
Remember when, not long ago, the only nut butter you could find was was hydrogenated and sugar-sweetened peanut butter? Fortunately we’ve come a long way since then, especially with the variety and quality of nut butters available. Enter Naturally Nutty, the brainchild of Katie Kearney, a vegan mom from Traverse City who wanted a better nut butter alternative to plain old messy peanut butter that you have to stir.
Her desire for different flavors led her to experiment at home by adding different ingredients in with peanut butter and supplementing with hemp and flax seed. She expanded her creations to include almond, sunflower, and pepita sun seeds, combined with ingredients such as cinnamon, vanilla, and chocolate. Her children and neighbors were the lucky tasters, and soon she had her first official customer.
Kearney tries to find ingredient sources as close to home as possible. Organic peanuts come from Texas and New Mexico, organic almonds from California, and most seeds from the Midwest. Hemp seeds come from Canada since they are illegal to grow in the U.S. Her manufacturing facility is in Williamsburg and employs seven people during the busy season.
One of the best things about her business, Kearney says, is the complete control over the cleanliness and quality of the products. “Anything that I would feed my family, I feel good about feeding everyone else!” One of the challenges of her business is the occasional scarcity of peanuts, almonds, and other ingredients, making it difficult to keep up with demand.
Naturally Nutty sells all over the world, with distributors in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, as well as throughout the U.S. Kearney estimates she produced approximately 70,000 pounds of nut and seed butter in 2013.
“I love that we can do great things for our earth, community and others, just by the ingredients we choose, the donations we can make, etc,” says Kearney. For infomation about her products, go to naturallynutty.com.