Jessica and John Waller first sold their hearty nut butters collection at farmers markets. Humble Nut Butter is now available in stores from Whole Foods to Kowalski’s.
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota – It all started when Jessica Waller wanted a snack. Something hearty.
“I really love nut butter,” said Jessica. “Somehow the thought occurred to me: Why are all nut butters plain or sweet when most mixed nuts are salty, hot, smoky?”
Jessica spent almost a year developing recipes with her husband John. In the summer of 2018, the couple sold their hearty line of nut butters in the Twin Cities farmers markets.
“I am really committed to just eating food in my own lifestyle. Just eat food that is food and food should be humble and simple, ”said Jessica.
That is what the couple kept in mind when they introduced Humble Nut Butter.
“We’re not the only consumers who are fed up with all the sweet, sugary foods out there, and people are more careful about what they consume these days,” said John.
Humble Nut Butter comes in three flavors: Turmeric Maple Pecan, Sun Dried Basil Cashew, and Truffle Herb Walnut. The lids of the jars have food suggestions to try the nut butter on, and they have recipe ideas on their website as well.
“It was exciting and I think it was an endorsement for people to try it and say, ‘Why hasn’t anyone thought about that before?'” Recalled Jessica.
The nut butters are made from Cornerstone Creek’s commercial kitchen operated by Jewish Housing and Programming (J-HAP) in Golden Valley. Cornerstone Creek is an affordable residential facility for adults with developmental disabilities. The kitchen inside works with entrepreneurs who are inclusive employers.
Tim Strom, 28, lives in the building and was connected to Humble Nut Butter by Nicole Rabinowitz from Inclusive Networking about two years ago.
“She said, ‘Do you guys need some part-time work?’ We spoke to her and it just worked out that way and it was a win-win for everyone, “said Jessica.
John added, “I think it goes well with the culture mostly because Tim goes well with our personalities. We like to have fun. ”
Strom said he loves fooling around with John while working.
“He’s a big bear fan and he always teases me about the Packers. I’m a Packer fan and he always gives me trouble with these things,” said Strom.
Jessica and John hope that companies of all sizes will think more about inclusive employment. Strom was recently promoted to senior production assistant.
“My promotion is really very big for me. How shocking to me,” said Strom.
The team of three has stayed hard. Although the pandemic is pausing their food samples, they have spread to other stores, including all seven Whole Foods locations in Minnesota.
They have also shipped many orders through the Humble Nut Butter website and Amazon.
“We’ve had enough of all those sweet and sugary foods as consumers, so I’m not surprised we got to that point, but it’s not exactly how we put it,” said John.
Jessica added with a laugh, “I don’t think either of us thought we made a living on nut butter.”
This is where you will find stores that sell Humble Nut Butter.
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