Once Again Nut Butter: Simple & Healthy Nut Butters
An industry leader for over 40 years, Once Again Nut Butter started with two people, a single barrel roaster, and the idea to create simple, healthy nut butters. Now a team of 86, the 100% employee-owned company remains true to its roots and proudly offers a lineup of nut butters that seamlessly blend wholesomeness with sustainability and innovation. In addition to its support of farmers in underdeveloped countries, initiatives to protect the environment, and unsurpassed safety and quality standards, the company also actively supports its community with social projects and donates to over 150 non-profit organizations a year.
Started by husband-and-wife-team, Jeremy Thaler and Constance Potter, the inspiration for Once Again Nut Butter came when a good friend asked Jeremy if he’d ever considered making old-fashioned peanut butter. Always up for a challenge, Jeremy took a pre-owned coffee roaster and started creating nut butter out of their 800-square-foot basement. The entrepreneurial pair had a history of starting employee-owned businesses, so with this new venture, people said “Jeremy and Connie are at it “once again,” hence the company name. In 1981, Once Again moved to a production facility in rural upstate New York, and on these original factory grounds, four baby raccoons grew up and were adopted by the family of employees. Jeremy named one Rocky, and he became the brand’s mascot and a symbol of the company’s wholesome nature and responsibility to the earth and its products.
The company’s growing product lineup consists of new Amoré hazelnut and almond spreads available in milk and white chocolate, along with organic and natural peanut, almond, cashew and seed butters, and honey. In 2016, Once Again expanded operations to include an SQF Level 3 Certified, 37,000 square-foot facility just down the street where it produces its peanut butters. The company’s tree nut and seed butters are produced in a separate facility nearby.
A true nut butter pioneer, Once Again introduced the first certified-organic, no-stir peanut butter in 2007 as a way to help bridge the gap between mainstream peanut butter and simpler, organic options. The company was also the first to introduce organic Valencia peanut butter, which they did by subsidizing farmers’ crops for five years to ensure their stability and fair pricing. In addition, Once Again works with the Jubilee House, a charity located outside Managua, Nicaragua that helps communities become self-sufficient, sustainable, and democratic. About 25 years ago with Jubilee’s help, Once Again planted a few acres of sesame as a test plot in Nicaragua. In just 12 years, these few acres successfully turned into the development of 13 cooperatives representing 2,000 farmers. Once Again buys these sesame seeds at world market prices, which has greatly enhanced the living conditions of the farmers and their families.
To define the team’s efforts since the beginning and take them to the next level, Once Again Nut Butter founded its Honest in Trade program, which looks at three aspects of sustainability:
• People: Everyone in Once Again’s supply chain is treated fairly, from its employees who are considered family, to the community who sees the brand as a big brother, to its farm workers who receive above fair-trade market prices and are negotiated with directly.
• Products: In addition to undergoing constant external audits, Once Again has a robust quality assurance program and state-of-the-art laboratories to monitor internal practices, food safety and food quality. The plant protocols they have in place for cleanliness are unprecedented, and the team has built a database to track commodities back to the supply chain, and eventually the farmer.
• Planet: Winners of the How Good Award in 2016 and 2017 for being one of the most sustainable companies in the world, Once Again uses solar electricity, has an internal recycling program, makes its containers from recycled materials, and donates its food waste.
Once Again has come a long way since the days when Jeremy was making nut butter using a coffee roaster. The company’s products can now be found in stores throughout Miami, including Whole Foods Market, Publix and Winn-Dixie, and can be purchased online at OnceAgainNutButter.com.