We are thrilled to include among our amazing producers the wonderful Big Spoon Roasters of Durham, North Carolina. Where our products come from, how they’re made, and the quality and transparent sourcing of their ingredients are of paramount importance to our team of Buyers at Bi-Rite. What’s fantastic about Big Spoon is that Founder Mark Overbay is right there with us, and his philosophy that “food matters”–to our health, happiness, and planet–is in alignment with out beliefs.
Big Spoon makes handcrafted nut butters. These include Peanut, of course, but also Almond, Cashew, Almond Ginger, Chai Spice, Mission Almond, Peanut Cashew, and many more. Only the best ingredients are used, like fresh Runner peanuts from the Carolinas, organic Pawnee pecans, and raw wildflower honeys. Just as important is what is not added: these butters contain no palm oil, and no preservatives. Each small batch is roasted, milled, and packaged while it’s still warm, and made to order. So, how does someone even get started making what Bon Appetit called,“Some of the Country’s Best Nut Butter?”
Mark tried handcrafted peanut butter when he was a Peace Corps Volunteer many moons ago. While in Zimbabwe, he witnessed small-scale farmers harvesting and roasting fresh peanuts, crushing them with a mortar and pestle, and folding in honey and salt. It was a transformative experience for someone who had loved peanut butter his entire life. This was his point of reference a decade later when, in 2010 at his North Carolina home, he had the brilliant idea to recreate that delicious and simple recipe using ingredients sourced in his local area.
And Big Spoon works very hard to make a difference; Mark says he created Big Spoon Roasters, in part, “as a response to the over-industrialization of one of the world’s simplest pleasures and most prevalent pantry staples–peanut butter.” North Carolina is ranked sixth in the United States in peanut production, and Big Spoon is proud to be able to invest in farmers who share Big Spoon’s ideals of delicious, nutritious food that is good for everyone involved in its production. Transparency and trust are key components of their relationships with local and regional farmers. And Mark has said that realizing the food supply chain is really a “link of human lives” informs everything Big Spoon Roasters does.
We are carrying several flavors of Big Spoon Nut Butter at both the 18th Street and Divisadero Bi-Rite Markets. Look for the displays in both stores, and definitely make sure you have a taste! We are thrilled to be involved with such a great company, and look forward to sharing their story and their butters with you. Mark Overbay and Big Spoon Roasters are the embodiment of the Bi-Rite mission of Creating Community Through Food.