Skip to main content

Melissa Stewart (left) and Trisha Calliauw inspect jars of Nuts to You tahini.

JEREMY KOHM/for Report on Business magazine

The labels have a homespun, flea-market look. The ingredients list is suspiciously short. The owner is a Luddite hippie. So how in the heck did Nuts to You Nut Butter Inc., in Paris, Ontario, find a place alongside the Krafts and Unilevers of the world on the shelves of every major grocer in the country?

Sam Abrams has a one-word answer: quality. It's the foundation of everything Nuts to You has accomplished over 25 years in business, some of which Abrams has spent flying around the world hunting for the perfect almond or cashew. He and his wife, Kathleen, launched the company in 1989 after fleeing Toronto's sprawl for the relative calm of the Ontario countryside. "I had an idea, but little aptitude," he says. "If there's 50 people and a donkey in a room, I'm the least skilled of all of them." Today, he dry-roasts, grinds and jars "millions of pounds" of nuts and seeds every year, and employs 13 to 15 people. The company has no website or social media presence. "I'm a hippie. I don't much care about technology," he explains. "People say every company does it now. Well, I guess we're not every company."

250,000
The estimated number of jars Jif produces every day at the world's largest peanut butter facility, in Kentucky.

Story continues below advertisement

A.M.
Canadians prefer to eat peanut butter for breakfast

P.M.
Americans prefer to eat it for lunch

$178-million
Peanut butter sales in Canada in 2011

Nov. 4, 1895
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applies for a peanut butter patent

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter