Five years ago, John Bannerman of Amboy, Washington, found an empty shell in the food world where the nut butter should have been.
“I always used nut butters in my own cooking and realized there weren’t many artisan nut butter makers in the Northwest,” he said. With that realization John started Wilderness Poets and began creating small batch nut butters starting with a line of hempseed spreads including cashew cacao and sesame pistachio.
With his business steadily expanding John started to look for ways of diversifying his product line while making sure that Wilderness Poets products drew from the local abundance as much as possible.
Using the Marketplace feature, John was able to spread the good word about his products and, as it turned out, find a new source for hazelnuts: Linda Perrine of Honor Earth Farms, a 35 acre organic hazelnut farm in Eugene, Oregon. When Linda found FoodHub she knew she had landed on an opportunity to supplement her grass-roots marketing efforts, expand her selling opportunities and scope out the competition.
“I’ve been doing hazelnuts for the past three years and any advertising I do has to be at almost no cost,” Linda said. “When I saw that FoodHub was free I set up a profile and found Wilderness Poets.”
With FoodHub greasing the wheels, Wilderness Poets is now planning on selling Honor Earth Farms hazelnuts in their online store and is experimenting with raw hazelnut butter from Linda’s grove.
“It’s one of my goals to keep my hazelnuts in the Northwest,” Linda said. “I really don’t want to sell them much farther than Northern California so working with buyers like Wilderness Poets that I can find on FoodHub is key for me.”
“Besides helping with sourcing, FoodHub is a great way for us to reach out to distributors and restaurants and caterers,” John said. “It cuts out a lot of the leg work and makes the initial contact a friendlier experience.”