For this week’s Made in Arkansas, AY About You chatted with Natural Way Food Group, the Fayetteville-based company making delicious and healthy peanut and almond butters.
Austin and Quinn Simkins started Natural Way Food Group after discovering that most peanut butter they purchased in stores offered no health benefits. The health-conscious brothers realized that most peanut butters contain either palm oil, the sourcing of which has negative effects on the environment, or hydrogenated oils, which have trans fats that are generally bad for your health. They had also grown up with a family recipe for chocolate peanut butter, so they knew they were up for the challenge to create the perfect peanut butter.
“We were eating a lot of peanut butter, and we realized we could make something better than these peanut butters from the store,” said Quinn Simkins.
Austin had recently graduated from the University of Arkansas with his MBA, while Quinn was still a student at the university. After doing some research, the brothers decided to use olive oil to make their peanut butter, which lowered the amount of sugar, added healthy fats and was much more eco-friendly. Plus, the results tasted delicious.
Natural Way peanut butter is now available in four different flavors: original, honey, chocolate swirl and coffee. For the holidays two seasonal flavors, pumpkin spice and gingerbread, are available for purchase as well. Natural Way has also launched a line of almond butter in the same four classic flavors as the peanut butter.
The Simkins still live in Fayetteville, and Natural Way nut butters are still manufactured in Fayetteville as well. Their products are sold in more than 700 stores across the country including Whole Foods, Sprouts supermarkets and other health foods stores. Although the pandemic presented challenges this year to distribution, Natural Way still found new ways to grow, whether through partnerships with stores or by selling products at local farmers markets.
Quinn Simkins says he feels lucky to be working as an entrepreneur, especially when he gets to continue running Natural Way with his brother.
“It’s a family business, truly,” said Simkins.