PHOENIX - Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is a staple of childhood snacks, and one Arizona business is thriving with their own special spreads.
Siblings Jeff and Denise Malkoon are also business partners, and they started their own company, Peanut Butter Americano, about seven years ago in Phoenix, after Jeff returned home from a trip to South America.
"While I was traveling in Latin America, spreads that are popular down there are Dulce de Leche, sort of creamier, sweeter spreads, but they grow peanuts, which are rich in protein, niacin, and fiber, and I thought, 'why aren't they putting peanut butter onto sandwiches?'" said Jeff. "I came back to the U.S., and along with my sister and our family, started Peanut Butter Americano in our mother's kitchen."
"Our primary goal with this company is to promote really healthy living without hydrogenated oils, preservatives, emulsifiers, but we also want it to be good for the world, so part of our proceeds go back to nonprofits," said Denise.
The machine at Peanut Butter Americano can produce about 500 pounds (~226.8kg) of nut butter per hour. The company offers six different flavors, including two almond butter flavors
The Malkoons started out small, as a way to give back locally and to other countries. Since the beginning, they've continued to grow, thanks in part to their support system in Arizona.
"I think my brother and I really feel so supported by the markets, by the partners, by the customers, by the loyalty," said Denise.
"Now, you can find our products in 400 retail locations across the Southwest, on Amazon, and a lot of food service locations like spring training facilities here in the Valley, the Mayo Clinic, and a lot more kitchens," said Jeff.
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