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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton Writer
Updated on May 31st, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

East Wind Nut Butters 2024: The Cream of the Crop

Nicholas "Thor" Thorsen is the public relations manager for East Wind Nut Butters and East Wind Community as well as the purchasing manager and co-manager of the sales and marketing team. He is involved with both East Wind Nut Butter’s wholesale and retail business ensuring raw materials are ordered and creating new opportunities for business. East Wind Crafts (East Wind’s Retail) was the first sales outlet for consumer products created and sold by East Wind Community members, offering nut butters directly to the public and small businesses. East Wind Crafts has modernized to include an E-commerce web-store, selling nut butters and Utopian Rope Sandals. East Wind Nut Butters’ wholesale produces their butters by the pallet for large distributors and co-packers that need their products by the hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Thor and the East Wind Nut Butters team are committed to providing a reliable and authentic experience for their customers. DeliveryRank finds out more.

What sets East Wind Nut Butters apart from other nut butter brands in terms of ingredients and production process?

At East Wind Nut Butters, what sets us apart is our commitment to using high-quality nuts and seeds as our ingredients. It all starts from there – the raw ingredients. Many of our products contain only a single ingredient, the nut or seed, with the second being salt or extra oil for consistency. We let the nuts do the heavy lifting for us, and use our roasting and milling processes to bring out the natural flavors.

For example, we use Valencia peanuts for all of our nut butters. Valencia peanuts are a unique type of peanut, accounting for roughly 1% of US-produced peanuts. They are naturally sweet and oily, so we don't have to add anything to make them delicious and palatable. Unlike Spanish or Runner peanuts, which are mass-produced, lack the quality of Valencia peanuts, requiring the addition of sweeteners and oils, including hydrogenated oils, to taste okay. Valencia peanuts grow in sandy soil and dry, arid conditions, resulting in lower levels of mold and aflatoxins, making them a safer product for consumption. 

As an artisanal seed and nut butter producer, we produce in smaller batches, keeping them fresh. We believe this approach sets us apart from other brands, as we prioritize freshness and quality in every batch we make.

How does East Wind Nut Butters ensure the freshness and quality of its products, considering they are made in small batches?

By producing in smaller batches and having a trusted team of roasters and mill operators, we ensure top-notch quality in every jar of nut butter. Our roasters and mill operators are crucial to this process, as no batch of raw materials is exactly the same. They carefully monitor the consistency and texture of the product as it comes out, adjusting as necessary to achieve the perfect result. 

For example, if we receive a whole truckload of nuts, they fine-tune the process to maintain the quality and consistency we're known for. Additionally, we conduct Certificate of Analysis (COA) testing, sending samples off to the lab for any customer who requests it. This commitment to quality control sets us apart and ensures that every jar of East Wind Nut Butters meets our high standards.

Can you describe the cooperative structure of East Wind Nut Butters and how it impacts the business's operations and customer relationships?

Yes, that aspect is truly fascinating. The cooperative structure of East Wind Nut Butters is unique and community-based, taking work-life balance to a whole new level. The same people I work with in the office are the ones I garden with, share meals with, and engage in recreational activities with. This dynamic creates a deep sense of balance and camaraderie. Our cooperative nature extends into our business operations, fostering strong communication and collaboration in decision-making processes, particularly in areas like marketing and sales. 

We treat our consumers as part of our community, valuing their feedback and using it to improve our products. This community-focused approach also extends to our suppliers and wholesale partners, with whom we maintain long-standing relationships built on trust and open communication. As the purchasing manager, I personally ensure these connections remain strong and mutually beneficial, reflecting the essence of our cooperative structure and values.

What motivated East Wind Community to start producing nut butters, and how has the business evolved since then?

The motivation behind starting the nut butter business at East Wind was quite simple. In the 1980s, the community was relatively young, just six years old, and needed a new business venture. At that time, they were manufacturing hammocks from the parent community, Twin Oaks, but it was labor-intensive and lacked the desired profit margins. A member who had expertise in nut butter management and manufacturing proposed the idea, which aligned well with East Wind's ethics and principles of right livelihood. It was seen as a venture that could support the entire community and involve everyone. 

This serendipitous event led to the establishment of the nut butter business, which has since become the main source of income for the East Wind community. Over the years, the business has evolved, adding new lines such as cashew, almond, and sesame seed butters. Other products have come and gone, and the production sizes and varieties have been adjusted to meet changing demands. The business continues to evolve, but its foundation was laid by a stroke of luck when the idea was brought forward by a community member.

How does East Wind Crafts contribute to the overall mission and goals of East Wind Nut Butters and East Wind Community?

East Wind Crafts was actually established before the nut butter business, in 1974, shortly after the formation of the East Wind community. Initially, East Wind Crafts sold hammocks, and later, sandals made from off-cuts, along with various other crafts produced by community members. These included items like looms, plant holders, cutting boards, and handmade drums, among others. East Wind Crafts has been at the heart of the craft side of East Wind Community, serving as a hub for handmade goods. 

As a local demand for nut butter jars emerged, East Wind Crafts began offering East Wind Nut Butters to neighbors, friends, and family. Over time this demand grew and East Wind Crafts expanded its retail operations for selling nut butters. Several years ago, they added online commerce through Shopify which allowed their customers to order directly from East Wind, even if they were not located near a store that carried their products. East Wind Crafts has become an integral part of the business, as they directly engage with consumers, gather feedback, and provide invaluable insights into consumer preferences.

If you would like to find out more about East Wind Nut Butters, please visit https://eastwindcrafts.com/

If you would like to find out more about East Wind Community, please visit https://www.eastwind.org/

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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