A lifelong peanut butter lover, our founder Mark received his first lesson in handcrafted nut butter in 1999 while living in a rural farming community in Zimbabwe, where he was a Peace Corps Volunteer. After harvest, community members would roast peanuts over open fires and grind them by hand between stones as coarse salt was added to taste. In an attempt to replicate the classically sweet, salty, and spreadable peanut butter from home that he craved, Mark added honey, sea salt, and coconut oil to the mix. The deliciously fragrant, mouthwatering result was a revelation that the best foods are often the simplest, made with fresh ingredients, care, and craft.
In the fall of 2010, Mark was inspired to recreate that unforgettable peanut butter experience he had in Africa. He started roasting nuts and milling them into fresh nut butters in his home kitchen. Excited to share these foods with others and turn these passions into a business, Mark and his wife, Megan, started Big Spoon Roasters in January 2011.
Big Spoon’s philosophy about food is based on the belief that food matters. It matters to our health, our happiness, and the well being of our planet. Food should be delicious, nutritious, and good for all those involved in producing it. For us, cooking and sharing food with others is a great joy. That’s why we make all of our nut butters and bars in-house, pay our team a living wage, and offer robust employee benefits including subsidized health insurance, a monthly wellness stipend, and CSA reimbursement.
Big Spoon Roasters sources ingredients from only trusted, transparent farms and producers that share our philosophy. We are honored to work with a number of like-minded organic growers and food producers, and we all help each other by collectively growing the demand for higher quality, sustainable agriculture. We also proudly work with Bee Friendly Certified almond growers in California; apiaries in NC; ginger farmers in Fiji; sorghum farmers in TN; and many more talented food producers we consider partners in a mission to set new standards for ingredient integrity, flavor, and freshness.
The name “Big Spoon” is a tribute to Mark’s dad, Gary, of Kingsport, TN, where Mark and several generations of his paternal family grew up. One day, a six-year-old Mark walked into the family kitchen to find his dad having one of his favorite snacks – a big spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar. Mark blurted out, “big spoon!” and the nickname stuck. To this day, Mark’s friends from Kingsport still call Gary “Big Spoon,” and well, there was no question about what he was going to name the nut butter business.