The Story Of How A Peanut Butter Obsessed Entrepreneur Got His Jars Into 15,000 Stores In North America


This post is part of the “Small Business, Big Ideas” series, in which business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators share their stories of overcoming obstacles and achieving success. “Small Business, Big Ideas” is sponsored by Chase.

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The Peanut Butter & Co. sandwich shop opened near the New York University campus in Manhattan 15 years ago, offering any type of peanut butter treats you can dream of.

The demand for its whimsical custom peanut butter products such as Smooth Operator and White Chocolate Wonderful quickly outgrew the shop, and Lee Zalben, founder and president of the company, decided to expand the brand to retail. 

Peanut Butter & Co. now makes some 4 million jars of peanut butter at its production facility in Georgia, the heart of peanut country, that are sold in 15,000 stores in North America and many more worldwide. The company makes 10 different kinds of peanut butter, a variety of jams, and other peanut butter products such as portable squeeze pack and snacks.

We stopped by the one and only Peanut Butter & Co. sandwich shop near Washington Square Park to learn how Zalben created a peanut butter empire out of a sandwich shop.

Watch below.


Produced by Robert Libetti

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