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Almond trees have been cultivated in the United States since the mid-1700’s when Franciscan Padres planted the first seedlings brought over from Spain. Almonds flourished here, particularly in California, where they became an important element of the state’s agricultural and culinary identity.
The heirloom Mission variety almond, discovered in Texas in 1891, derives from a single chance seedling. Literally a late bloomer with smaller, denser buds and shorter, darker kernels than larger, more popular and “attractive” varieties suchas Nonpareil, Mission almonds like a longer, slower roast time and offer a deeper, more concentrated flavor. Mission almonds are perfect for almond butter. Made only with freshly roasted and milled Mission almonds blended with raw wildflower honey and sea salt, this Almond Butter is intentionally simple and straight-up delicious.
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A lifelong peanut butter lover, the co-founder Mark first tried making his own 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 pound them with stones into a thick paste, which was usually added to savory dishes. In an attempt to replicate the classically sweet, salty, and spreadable peanut butter from home that he craved, Mark made his own batches with the additions of honey, sea salt, and coconut oil. In the fall of 2010, Mark was inspired to recreate that unforgettable peanut butter experience he had in Africa. 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. Big Spoon Roasters sources ingredients from only trusted, transparent farms and producers that share our philosophy. They are honored to work with a number of like-minded organic growers and food producers, and they all help each other by collectively growing the demand for higher quality, sustainable agriculture.
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.