As we continue to highlight some of FirstBank’s business banking customers that exemplify ‘banking for good’, let us introduce Peanut Butter Americano, a Phoenix-based natural peanut butter company. PB Americano first hit our radar as an entrant in 2018’s “20K Good Business Giveaway“, a video contest they would end up winning as Maricopa County’s grand prize winner of $20,000 and marketing campaign of their choice.

Owner Jeff Malkoon chose to donate a portion of their winnings to a local nonprofit via a cause-marketing campaign. From Sunday, Aug. 4 to Saturday, Aug. 17, $1 will be donated for every jar of peanut butter sold, up to $2,000, to St. Mary’s Food Bank, an organization that gathers and distributes food to nine of Arizona’s 15 counties.

If you are in Arizona, visit these locations to purchase a jar, and if not, visit PBAmericano.com to place your order online. Check out this video to learn more about PB Americano, and how they are living by their motto of ‘Spreadable Happiness’.

BECOMING A BUSINESS

The company started from humble beginnings with pure intentions. After graduating from college Jeff spent some time down in Uruguay, volunteering with the nonprofit TECHO, which specializes in emergency housing construction for areas experiencing extreme poverty. From there, the idea to start a company grew just as naturally as peanuts do in South America.

“I was doing housing construction for them, and noticed that you couldn’t find peanut butter in the areas in which TECHO operates,” Jeff said. “I thought we could make a product that people outside of the US could enjoy, a peanut butter that we could take back to South America. Just the same as other spreads have come to the US from all parts of the world.”

When Jeff returned in 2013, he teamed up with his sister Denise as they started making five pound batches of nut butter in their mom’s kitchen. The goal was exceedingly ambitious, yet simple: create the most delicious, the most nutritious, and most socially beneficial nut butter product on earth.

That year they made their way into the famous Phoenix Public Market and secured their product into a handful of retail locations. It wouldn’t take long for PB Americano to work their way into Maricopa County residences. Flavors like Choco Blanco, Cinnamon Honey and Cinnamon Roasted Almond Butter helped the company become a staple at thousands of Arizona farmer’s markets, and more than 400 retail locations.

Despite the rapid growing success on the business side, the mission stayed the same for the Malkoons.

“Peanut butter can be tasty, filling, nutritious spreads that people actually enjoy, so the lack of peanut butter emerged as a need we saw in other parts of the world,” Jeff said. “But as we began brewing in the US, we decided we wanted to broaden our mission to work with more domestic organizations.”

GIVING BACK

To aid this mission of being a socially beneficial nut butter company, PB Americano created the Fund for the Americas initiative. The fund serves as the giving arm of the company, which is funded by their nut butter sales. To date, the fund has been able to donate more than $20,000 in value toward economic and community organizations across the Americas. One of which is St. Mary’s Food Bank, the central piece of PB Americano’s cause-marketing campaign.

“St. Mary’s is a phenomenal, robust organization that has been around for decades,” Jeff said. “What’s beautiful about the food bank is that they support a lot of the organizations that we work with directly. St. Mary’s shares our philosophy of making healthy and hearty food available for all, and they do it with a broad reach that is to be admired.”

When looking back at where PB Americano came from and looking forward to where they are going, the company credits its customers who continue to consume their products. The customers that allow Jeff and Denise to live out their dreams.

“To get to where we are, literally hundreds of thousands of people had to really try, and then purchase our products,” Jeff said. “That’s the support that has kept us going. First and foremost, we are appreciative to those people. Our entire mission is centered around making people happy, whether it’s through our nut butters or our work with the Fund for the Americas. We want to make and distribute products that positively contribute to humanity.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.