We’re lighting a lone candle and celebrating something special: our first year in business. On August 26, 2017, after a year and half of nutty research & development, we placed our Nutista stoneground creations in our first three retail accounts in the San Diego area. “It was an awesome day for us,” recalls Nutista co-founder Tristen Cross. “It felt like all of the hard work we had done was finally coming to fruition.”
At the time, Cross and fellow co-founders (John Huber and Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch) had no employees and handled all recipe creation, production, sales and marketing. Today we have two new employees who assist with production and a third new staffer who handles our growing online sales. We’ve also expanded our retailer list to about 50 stores, with more on the way.
To keep up with growing demand, last month we replaced our two 40-pound-capacity stone grinders with a pair of new 150-pound-capacity stone grinders. Yes, our new gear is still small-batch. But the nearly 400% boost in production capacity will help us keep our fans supplied with healthy, tasty, all-natural and highly innovative Nutista nutbutters.
“It has a been a year of hustling and grinding hard,” Cross says with a wink, “and taking great care of our customers along the way. But we’re very happy with our success in year one.”
“Our unique flavor combinations,” says John Huber, “have really helped our growth. We’ve opened up a new realm of nutbutter flavors and our customers really appreciate that. Our fans,” he adds, “also appreciate that our super-clean creations have no cane sugar, low total sugar, and they’re high in plant-based protein and deep with flavor. That’s a powerful combination.”
“My favorite part of Nutista over the past year,” says Greg Koch, “is the same as my favorite part of Stone Brewing over the last 22 years: Watching eyes go wide upon the first taste, followed by the inevitable ‘Wow’ reaction, and then the ‘Where can I buy it?’ question. It’s a joy helping people understand that not only is there a world beyond commodity brands, but things in that world are simply so much better.”
Our collaborations with Stone Brewing played a big role in boosting our sales and enabled us to connect with craft beer and Stone fans -- an audience we couldn’t have reached otherwise. Our enthusiastic online community has also given us consistent sales and the ability to take our story direct to faithful fans outside of our San Diego market and across the country.
Of course, our first retailers get the MVP trophies for our first year. So we send a big shout-out to these stores that believed in us from the start. “We sell a ton of Nutista products here,” says Lucas Zora of Del Mar Wine Company in Del Mar, California. “Sales have grown steadily since we first brought them in, and they really took off once more of our customers tried them.”
Julie Perdue -- co-founder of the popular Claire’s Too café in Solana Beach, California -- was another early embracer of Nutista. “The jars were a slow sell initially,” she says, “but we now have a base who knows the product and they keep coming back for more. We like that the Nutista products are natural, local, & delicious. They also pair well with a lot of our baked goods and make a great gift.”
With our first year now behind us, we’re taking some time to savor the hard-earned gift of reaching our first anniversary. We send a big “Thank you!” to all of our retailers, in-store shoppers, online subscribers, and every Nutista fan and ally who made this milestone possible. We treasure your nutty support. Now pardon us while we go enjoy some birthday cake.