We’ve come a long way since the days in Justin’s kitchen. This page is full of facts about how Justin‘s grew from Farmers’ Market to nationwide distribution.
Click on the milestone buttons below to learn more about how Justin’s started.
My roomates thought I was totally crazy
The story began when Justin Gold, a lover of the active lifestyle, moved to Boulder, Colorado in his 20’s. In order to fuel his long bike rides, Justin embarked on a mission to create new varieties of nut butter that not only packed the protein, but also tasted great. He began crafting the very first batches of his now-famous, culinary nut butters in his home kitchen.
At least by putting my name on it, I could hope they wouldn’t eat it.
Justin dreamt up his own unique flavors and an assortment of his creations began to fill his kitchen cabinets. After weeks of hungry roommates devouring his nut butter, he did what he had to do – write his name on the jars. That’s where the real story began…
I spent weeks just stumbling through their business books and learning everything I could
Justin’s family, friends, and hungry roommates encouraged him to start selling his nut butter at the Boulder Farmers’ Market. In order to get started, he took advantage of resources in his incredibly entrepreneurial community. After calling on mentors and discovering resources at the University Of Colorado Leeds School of Business, Justin developed his first business plan.
I was waiting tables and I would make it late at night
As a one-man operation, Justin worked nights and weekends at a salsa company’s kitchen in Denver, CO making large quantities of his nut butter in an FDA compliant facility. At this point, he continued to maintain a full-time job while juggling his nut butter business on the side.
It was my first shot to see what people really thought
Come spring, Justin was ready for the Boulder Farmers’ Market with his four original flavors: Heavenly Honey Peanut Butter, Sinfully Cinnamon Peanut Butter, Honey Almond Butter and Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter.
I walked in to the store and politely asked to speak with the buyer…he either thought my nut butters were a good idea or simply wanted to get rid of me…
With innovative flavor profiles and distinct texture, Justin’s nut butters were an instant hit among the Boulder community. Justin used this success as leverage to convince local retailers to allow him to stock their shelves and demo the nut butters in store.
People always ask me, what’s your favorite flavor…
Justin welcomed his newest creation to the nut butter family: Maple Almond Butter. This flavor, which happens to be Justin’s favorite, changed the way people saw almond butter and quickly became a top seller.
I didn’t invent peanut butter and I didn’t invent the squeeze pack. I was just the first to put the two together
As a health conscious athlete, Justin still felt there was something missing. He realized that gel packs and energy shots filled with sugar were not the most nutritious snack. Why, he thought, had no one ever packaged a clean protein such as nut butter in an on-the-go squeeze pack? With this, came the next game-changing idea: the squeeze pack. The squeeze pack provided a portion-controlled and convenient source of protein to take cycling, put in a lunchbox, and use for sampling Justin’s different flavors.
Our hats are off to Whole Foods for recognizing the challenges small businesses face, and finding ways to help us grow efficiently
Justin’s received the first Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan in the grocer’s Rocky Mountain Region to expand production and take the company to the next level.
It’s unreal that such poverty exists right in our backyard
Justin’s learned that out of the ten lowest income areas in the US, eight are Native American communities. Justin’s experience at a nearby reservation was so inspiring that he now encourages all employees to volunteer at the reservation right before the holiday season. By partnering with the local non-profit, Conscious Alliance, Justin’s supports the Pine Ridge community with donations and an annual team trip to the reservation.
We wanted clean packaging to match the clean ingredients
Growth continued when Justin’s rebranded. New packaging made Justin’s stand out on the shelves and helped transform it into the first premium, culinary nut butter.
Do you eat cake frosting for breakfast?
I didn’t think so.
Justin released his irresistible, chocolaty line of nut butter: Chocolate Almond Butter & Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. With over 50% less sugar than the leading brand, Justin’s was the first to offer a guilt-free alternative that was both nutritious and delicious.
Think of your favorite peanut butter cup.
Next, magnify that by a gazillion…
As a natural entrepreneur, Justin is constantly innovating. Growing up, peanut butter cups were his favorite snack to satisfy his sweet tooth. By blending his artisanal peanut butter with high-quality chocolate, Justin created a better-for-you alternative to the conventional peanut butter cup. Justin’s peanut butter cups are 100% organic, Rainforest Alliance certified and gluten free.
Helping give others the help we were given…
As the first recipient of Whole Foods Market’s Local Producer Loan and in the spirit of entrepreneurship and paying it forward, Justin’s co-created and became the founding member of Whole Planet Foundation’s Microloan-a-Month Fund. Each month, Justin’s gives a microloan through Whole Planet Foundation to an entrepreneur in the developing world.
It’s been the ride of a lifetime. Looking back at the past decade is truly humbling.
Justin’s Celebrates it’s 10 Year Anniversary!
What’s the next adventure, you ask? We can’t wait to show you…
Even now, each day is an adventure for Justin. The company has ranked in the Top 15 on the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for the Food and Beverage category two years in a row, and he has been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young. As a passionate entrepreneur and loving father, Justin still maintains world-life balance by enjoying the Boulder lifestyle as an avid backpacker, mountain biker and skier while striving to develop products that use the best tasting natural and organic ingredients as possible.