Georgia may be the peanut capital of the world, but shockingly, there are very few Georgia-based craft peanut butters. Atlanta resident, Jaime Foster, is changing that with her new hand-crafted, small batch peanut butter, Georgia Grinders, launching this month. Here she shares her story with us:
Q: What inspired you to start making your own nut butters?
A: Our family has a passion for high quality, healthy foods. And as a mother of two young children, I was always looking for delicious, yet nutritious snacks and meals to appease picky eaters. “[I often turned to] my grandfather’s homemade almond butter—it doesn’t compare to what is commercially available. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and leave the corporate world to launch a small food business in January 2012.
Q: So that’s when Georgia Grinders was born?
A: That’s when we launched NaturAlmond, an all-natural almond butter. But as the cost of almonds hit a historical high, it was imperative that we diversify. The first and most obvious choice was our official state nut, the peanut. Then Georgia Grinders, which encompasses all of our future premium nut butters (cashew, pecan and sunflower seeds are next) and NaturAlmond, was born.
Q: It’s amazing there wasn’t another local peanut butter producer already. Why do you think that is?
A: The majority of our state’s peanuts are purchased by established brands, mass-produced and then distributed internationally at a low cost to the consumer. Often times these products contain hydrogenated oils, unnecessary sugars and preservatives. But we make a premium, handcrafted peanut butter that contains just two ingredients: non-GMO peanuts from South Georgia and sea salt. That’s it!
Q: I can taste the difference! What’s your secret?
A: We produce in small batches, only when orders come in, to provide the consumer with [fresh peanut butter] with a one-year shelf life. We have perfected the ideal roasting time of premium nuts and have a proprietary grinding process that results in our signature [crunchy] texture (it also comes in creamy). It tastes like freshly roasted peanuts, not masked by the addition of sugars or oils, and it’s easy to stir and spread.
Q: What’s the future for GA-based peanut butters?
A: The health benefits associated with nuts and seeds—they’re high quality protein, fiber and fats—peanuts are the perfect, locally sourced solution. Plus, nut butters are extremely versatile—use them in sauces, baked goods, added to smoothies or eaten by the spoonfuls to satisfy hunger and sustain energy.