If you’re guilty of eating peanut butter straight out of the jar, you’re gonna love this.
by Alexander Quebec
Peanut butter pairs well with almost anything; jelly, chocolate, bananas, bacon (if you don’t believe me, check out this recipe here). Peanut Butter enthusiasts (myself included) can’t get enough of the magical concoction of peanuts, salt and oil. After researching for a peanut butter enthusiast bigger than I, I had a chance to speak with Matthew Mulvihill, Founder and CEO of the family owned and operated Pacific Beach Peanut Butter in Pacific Beach, California, where our story begins.
A 2008 graduate of University of Nevada at Reno, Matthew was inspired to start his company one day in 2009 when he ran out of peanut butter for his usual routine of Peanut butter and waffles, gym then PB&J sandwich. After googling the location of a place for PB&J sandwiches in the San Diego Area, he then googled instructions on how to make his own peanut butter. A trip to the supermarket was where he had the chance encounter with a almond butter grinding machine that not only made the almond butter, but also blended in chocolate chip pieces as well. After getting his first peanut grinder from his grandfather, he quit his job and moved back home with his parents and immediately worked on creating new flavor combinations. With the help of his mother, a few friends, a few investors, and a lot of moving around the country, he settled down in Pacific Beach, California and in 2012, was able to start up Pacific Beach Peanut Butter and his signature flavors that form the core of his current line up of five flavors and two organic versions.
Inside the Jar
“So how do they make their peanut butter?” You might be asking. Matthew walked me through the process, starting with an ingredient list that is pretty simple, for example, the white chocolate flavor has just two items: peanuts and white chocolate. The two are mixed in small batches, then ground in a small grinder. Unlike most peanut butters, thanks to a proprietary, in house method, the oils do not separate from the mix, thus alleviating the customer the hassle of combining the oil with the peanut butter. By being processed by hand in small batches, the result is a considerably higher quality peanut butter.
Matthew’s favorite flavor also happens to be their #1 best seller: Our Signature. He describes the texture as “Smunchy, not smooth but not crunchy”, a texture that is uncommon among most peanut butters out in the market now. As for the flavor, Matthew described it to me as a “Phenomenal” combination of peanuts and toffee.
A Family Affair
He credits his success due to the help from friends and family. His mother is his assistant in the business, and helped him write the original business plan. his grandfather, who bought him his first peanut grinder and his younger brother, who handles the manufacturing side of the business. In his formative years, he spent most of his time moving around to new locales, making friends everywhere he lived. When it came time to ask for feedback, he sent samples to his friends all across the US and asked them to give him feedback. I asked him how someone could get honest feedback from friends, he responded that he told his friends “I don’t need you to be a friend, I need you to be a critic” and by getting their honest and candid feedback, he was able to create his successful business and product line
Words to live by
I asked Matt for some advice for enterprising entrepreneurs who want to get into their own business, food related or not. His Advice? “Do it, what is the worst that can happen? You’re not dealing with life or death situations; it’s just a business”. Going back to the help he received from family and friends over the past few years, he also shared with me “Surround yourself with people who will help you get there.”
We salute Pacific Beach Peanut Butters, who are working hard for more than just peanuts. Do you want in on this deliciousness? Head on over to wannaspoon.com to get yourself a jar of Pacific Beach’s peanut buttery goodness.