Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Jamaican Peanut Factory adding spice and variety to the market

Published:Thursday | August 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence/ Staff Reporter
The Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory.
The Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory.
The Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory.
The Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory.
The Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory.
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Canadian Fred Reibin and American Jason Lutz teamed up with Jamaican farmers Marvil Nelson from Clarendon and Deondre Walker from Gordon Town to produce authentic Jamaican peanut butter. The two found it odd that no one had jumped at the opportunity to produce one of the world's favourite spreads when all ingredients were readily available.

After getting the ingredients that they needed, they started experimenting with different recipes in Lutz's kitchen. For them, it was important that the products were not only organic, but all-Jamaican ingredients. When they came up with a recipe that they liked, they started testing the shelf life and how it held up under different temperatures.

They went on to move their business from Lutz's kitchen to the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) commercial kitchen in Kingston. Then the masterpiece was finally made.

"The flavour was amazing and we were challenged to create a more spreadable consistency. After a few months of experimenting, Jason walked into my house with a new jar. He was excited for me to try what he came up with. It was creamy, like a mousse, and the best peanut butter either of us had ever tried. We knew it was ready for sale," Reibin told Food.

They now have three types of peanut butter - smooth, crunchy and Scotch bonnet. The scotch bonnet idea was given to them by some Rastafarian whom they met. It adds a good surprise to the traditional flavour and it has been a hit.

Continuously improving the brand is their immediate mission. "With every batch, we try to improve something about it. We like clear and straightforward. Clear, simple ingredients; minimal packaging; a straightforward name. The Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory (JPBF) name is clear and to the point, which is why we chose it," Reibin told Food.

JPBF is working hard on maintaining the Jamaican brand, as they have collaborated with farmers who will grow organic peanut for their peanut butter. This will allow them to maintain consistency in the supply and quality of the product. This will in turn, help the farmers by providing them with the means of steady growth in their peanut farms.

In the long term, they would love to have the best peanut butter internationally. "This is an ambitious and achievable goal. Jamaica has some of the most flavourful peanuts in the world. There's a lot of love for the Jamaican brand out there. Together we can take yaad butter beyond Jamaica and support our local organic agriculture," he shared.