#38: How to Build a Nut Butter Empire…in a Nutshell. with Erika Welsh of Wild Friends Foods

LISTEN HERE OR ON ITUNES:

Take a stroll through your grocery store’s nut butter section. There’s a very good chance some bright colored jars with a big squirrel and the words “Wild Friends” on the label will catch your eye, draw you in and make you smile. It’s true! And how it’s actually possible for nut and seed butter to make us smile? And also taste insanely good? Well that’s what I wanted to investigate. So I got to sit down with the co-founder of Wild Friends Foods, Erika Welsh, and talk about how her peanut, almond, cashew and sunflower butters are changing the bread spread game as we know it. Turns out, there’s not some manipulative mastermind marketing strategy behind Wild Friends, instead, there’s a BUTT ton of passion.


REMEMBER! EMAIL ME A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR ITUNES REVIEW (WELL, FIRST YOU HAVE TO LEAVE A REVIEW) BETWEEN NOW (JUNE 1ST, 2017) AND JULY 1ST, 2017 TO ENTER TO WIN SOME WILD FRIENDS NUT BUTTERS!


This episode is sponsored by my Eat More Plants email program which is 100% free! IF YOU BELIEVE THAT UPPING THE AMOUNT OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES FLYING INTO YOUR MOUTH IS HARD/SUCKY/ANNOYING/OR EXPENSIVE THEN YOU’RE DOING IT COMPLETELY WRONG. AND MY FREE 7-DAY EAT MORE PLANTS EMAIL CLASS WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO DO IT RIGHT (And prove to you that yes, you can eat healthier without hating your life.)

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The NUTS and bolts from this episode:

In case I didn’t emphasize this enough in the interview (I def did), but Erika started Wild Friends with her bff Keeley while in COLLEGE at The University of Oregon.

Keeley (on the left) and Erika (on the right)!

One rainy afternoon in college, they ran out of peanut butter (oh no!!!) and so instead of just going the rest of the day without it…they decided to make their own from scratch! (With a food processor Erika’s mom serendipitously had given her.)

>> Their first flavor was just plain peanut butter and their second flavor ever was/is my favorite one: CINNAMON RAISIN PEANUT BUTTER (omg it’s so so so so good).

PS. Feel free to use coupon code: wildfriendsparty to get 15% off any of their nut butters! | or buy them on Amazon!

So, they purely started word-of-mouthily…they’d just make jars in their college kitchen apartment (under the name “Flying Squirrel”) and their peers became, for lack of a better word…OBSESSED!

Makes me think of Monica making candy in FRIENDS!

Fun fact: 1 lb jar of peanut butter (16 oz) means you need about double the amount of peanuts because it shrinks like in half from peanuts to butter!

Hey! Wanna try making your own peanut butter?!?! Here’s how to make homemade Wild Friends inspired cinnamon raisin peanut butter (with a plant-protein boost!):

(full written recipe here.)

So then, the Wild Food girls were on SHARK TANK!! (One of my favorite shows! You too?)

I love how Erika and Keeley are in the elite “college dropout” club! So many successful biz people quit college, so interesting!!!

>> Maybe quitting is a good thing…because they became one of Forbes 30 Under 30 stars! SERIOUSLY! NUT BUTTER FOR THE WIN!

It’s very important for them to keep their nut butters low in sugar and high in protein. (Sounds good to me!) They use agave, honey and natural cane sugar. (They’re also dabbling in maple sugar – basically just dried maple syrup.)

You gotta check out their Instagram community. It’s kind of shocking how passionate Wild Friends nut butter eaters are about nut butter!!!

(But be forewarned: dangerous nut butter cravings will ensue upon looking at their page.)

Erika’s very impressed when people can use their nut butter in a SAVORY way…that’s so smart!

Speaking of how people use their nut butters, check out their humungo collection of Wild Friend’s Fans’ recipes here!

Right now they have 17 flavors (including their ah-mazing seasonal flavors like sugar cookie and gingerbread!!!). They’re kind of like the Ben and Jerry’s of nut butters with all their WILD fun flavors!

Which of their nut butters change lives? → Their HONEY SUNFLOWER BUTTER …which allows people with nut allergies to reunite with the beloved PB&J sandwich 🙂

Wondering how many Wild Friends it takes to produce such tasty nut butter? 8! They have 8 employees right now.

Stay tuned for their SUPER BUTTERS!!! Which I’ve gotten a super sneak peak of and can tell you, they’re SUPER.

(photo pulled from @wild_friends on Instagram

Also stay tuned for an epic SUPER BUTTER giveaway on my Instagram account in June!

Erika’s favorite plant-party restaurants: True Food Kitchen in LA and Harlow in Portland, Oregon

Her favorite plant to eat: Avocados! She mostly puts them in big huge green salads or into smoothies.

Her most-used kitchen tools: A really good saute pan, a lemon juicer and her Vitamix. (I thought it’d be a food processor, too, I know.)

A book that’s really inspired her in some awesome way: Animal Vegetable Miracle* by Barbara Kingsolver

*Amazingly/ironically, Adina Grigore (the founder of the clean, minimally processed skin care line SW Basics) also suggested that book in her podcast episode!!! Which is so crazy cool because they both said it inspired their product creation!

Ok, so…

GO TRY WILD FRIENDS NUT BUTTERS!!!!

Either 15% off* online | or in one of 10,000 stores! | or on Amazon!

And check out their Instagram (just be prepared to drool).

*15% off with code “wildfriendsparty” 


REMEMBER! EMAIL ME A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR ITUNES REVIEW (WELL, FIRST YOU HAVE TO LEAVE A REVIEW) BETWEEN NOW (JUNE 1ST, 2017) AND JULY 1ST, 2017 TO ENTER TO WIN SOME WILD FRIENDS NUT BUTTERS!

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