Fact #1: Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein. Fact #2: Peanut butter and all nut butter products are delicious. Fact #3: During my college years, I would survive on a jar of peanut butter weeks at a time as a meal replacement because of fact #1 and 2.
Growing up in the UK tea time was a daily ritual in our household; Digestive cookies with milk tea was essential but sometimes we’d jazz it up and make peanut butter and butter toast for tea. Till this day, I still randomly crave peanut butter toast in the middle of the afternoon. My love for peanut butter and all nut products goes way back but now that I’m in my 30’s, my palate is more refined and I enjoy finer things like almond, cashew, and other nut alternative butters. One of my favorite line of nut butters is Justin’s.
I admit, I was first drawn to Justin’s chic packaging while perusing the peanut butter isle. I loved their clean simple design which stood out amongst all the other bold multi-colored packaging. Justin’s label was simple and straight to the point much like their simple ingredients list: roasted peanuts and palm oil, period. Justin’s products are made from the highest quality, all-natural ingredients without sacrificing taste. So why should you buy Justin’s over all other nut butter brands? Let me give you the long reason…
Founder Justin Gold grew up in a small mountain town in Pennsylvania where his family owned and operated a small natural foods store. As a vegetarian living a super active lifestyle, nut butter was a staple in his diet but he grew frustrated with the variety, or lack thereof of variety of nut butters. He began crafting up his own batches of flavored nut butters in his 20’s but found that his hungry roommates kept eating his stash! To solve this problem, he started writing his name on the jar “Justin’s Do Not Eat!”
After receiving plenty of encouragement from his friends, family, and hungry roommates who demanded more nut butter, Justin put together a business plan and got to work. He started making large quantities of his nut butters on nights and weekends at a salsa company’s FDA compliant facility while maintaining a full-time job.
The game changed when Justin came up with his idea for portable nut butter squeeze packs. As a health-conscious athlete, Justin wanted something more nutritious and healthier than energy shots filled with sugar. The squeeze packs of nut butters would be the perfectly portioned, convenient protein boost on the go.
In 2007, three years after launching Justin’s, the nutty entrepreneur received the first Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan in the Rocky Mountain Region. This loan allowed him to expand production and take Justin’s to the next level.
Justin’s line is constantly growing with new product flavors including a line of chocolate nut butters that contain 50% less sugar than the leading brand, as well as better-for-you nut butter cups that are 100% organic, Rainforest certified and gluten free.
Now that I’ve told you all the reasons why Justin’s is delicious and great for you. Let me tell you about how Justin’s is great for society and the environment.
In 2009 Justin’s learned that out of the ten lowest income areas in the US, eight are Native American communities. The company partnered with the local non-profit, Conscious Alliance to support the Pine Ridge community with donations and an annual team trip to the reservation. Some members of the team also volunteer at the reservation around the holiday season.
In the spirit of entrepreneurship and paying it forward, Justin’s co-created and became the founding member of Whole Foods Market’s, Whole Planet Foundation’s Microloan-a-Month Fund. These microloans allow entrepreneurs in the developing world to build their business and increase their likelihood for success with financial support.
Justin’s not only cares for people, they are nuts about bees! The company has teamed up with The Xerces Society, People and Pollinators Actions Network (PPAN), and Growing Gardens to do their part at the national, state and local level to protect the bees. Bees, fondly known as pollinators, are required for about 80% of all food crops worldwide. Beekeepers have reported a loss of roughly 40% of honeybee colonies per year.
Justin’s supports the community by providing resources to help grow the natural products community, supporting efforts to inspire others to start somewhere and keep going, donating product to nourish the community, and educating the youth about the importance of nurturing our environment for future generations.
Justin’s products and operations are great for the environment: Rainforest Alliance Certified, supporting pollinator conservation, sustainably sourced palm oil, recycled and BPA free jars, recycled cartons, wind powered facilities, and mindfully sourced ingredients. Most of their ingredients are organic and do not contain GMOs or PPOs (a chemical that is used to treat almonds and a known carcinogen). And on the employee level, staff members are encouraged to bike and walk to work whenever possible, but the company also provides Eco Passes to incentivize green transportation to work.
Long story short, we are super stoked to have this great-for-you, great-for-society, great-for-the-environment company support our FBNW Food Drop this month and we’re sure the kids are going to love their Justin’s goodies. Go pick up a squeeze pack, jar, snack pack of delicious nutty goodness at your local grocery store.