Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00
It all started with a food processor. Hayley Wasserman had just graduated from Hofstra University and received a food processor as a gift, and started making peanut butter for fun. One day, her childhood best friends, Daniela Alvarez and Stephanie Williams, were at the Northport Farmers Market and noticed no one was selling nut butters. The three 22 year olds decided it would be fun to try to sell the product, and do farmer’s market every once in a while.
One year later, The 3 Nuts is a thriving business. The girls do12 to13 markets a week and their gourmet nut butters can be found in several stores on Long Island. Wasserman says she never expected her hobby of making nut butter to become such a passion.
“I never thought it would be a full time thing,” Wasserman said.
Alvarez and Williams both quit their jobs for the season, and Wasserman is reconsidering her decision to go back to grad school in the fall. The three girls are responsible for every part of the operation —from buying the ingredients, to making the product, to selling it at markets. Each girl goes to two to three farmer’s markets a day and they make an average of 500 jars a week, a number that fluctuates based on how many commercial orders they have.
They make their nut butters out of a rented kitchen on Linden Ave. in Westbury, where they spend several hours on Monday nights grinding the peanuts, cashews and almonds with the help of a food processor and jarring and capping them by hand.
The girls strive to use as few ingredients as possible, and are hoping that when costs allows, to make their butters all organic.
“We call it an all natural indulgent nut butter,” Williams said. “It’s definitely a health food, but we’re not marketing it as a health food. It’s a better alternative to anything in the stores. Our first ingredient is nuts, not sugar or oil or anything like that. And it tastes really good.”
They regularly make six flavors, but have dozens of recipes for others. Their best sellers are salted caramel peanut butter, almond butter, and the unique, coconut cashew butter.
“Nobody has heard of it so they think it’s so unique they have to try it. And it’s so good they buy it,” Williams said. “And our almond butter is different than anything you’ve ever tasted.”
Williams says that creating new flavors is one of her favorite parts of the business, but all three girls agree that they also love working the markets, where they can interact with customers and other small business owners.
“You get to see somebody trying it and saying ‘this is amazing’ or ‘good luck.’ It’s instant gratification as opposed to if it’s just on the shelf and you don’t get feedback,” Williams said.
In the next year, the girls hope to have their own kitchen space and be available in more stores. To find out more about the 3 Nuts and where you can buy it, visit the3nuts.com.