Checking Out the Local Food and Drink Scene
Oct 29, 2013
09:00 AMThe Chow Down
Madison Food Biz Yumbutter Meets Martha Stewart
PHOTO COURTESY OF ADRIAN REIF
Martha Stewart meets Matt D'Amour (left) and Adrian Reif (right) at the American Made event in Grand Central Station in New York City.
It all started when an editor from Martha Stewart Living magazine was on a book tour in Minneapolis this spring. The editor stopped in a small food store and purchased a jar of Madison-made Asian Jazz Yumbutter out of curiosity.
“She took it back to her hotel, broke it open and thought it was just mind-blowing,” says Yumbutter founder Adrian Reif.
That chance sampling has paid off for Reif and co-owner Matt D’Amour … big time. Not only did Martha Stewart Living subsequently request samples of Yumbutter’s organic peanut and almond butters, the magazine featured Yumbutter in its November issue and invited the duo to attend the American Made Awards in New York City October 15-17. They were among only thirty to forty other makers in various industries invited to showcase at the three-day expo at Grand Central Station, according to Reif.
“We love meeting other folks, getting to chat with them and ask about their hurdles,” he says. Beyond the networking, the Yumbutter guys had a designated booth where they set up shop for two days.
“We were just selling peanut butter and telling our story,” Reif says. They were at it from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., abandoning their post only once to meet Martha herself and have her sign a copy of the magazine.
While the flavorful zing of the Asian Jazz peanut butter—it’s made with cumin, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic and sea salt—is initially what caught the attention of the Martha Stewart crew, Yumbutter’s BuyOne:FeedOne program sealed the deal.
“Our goal as a company is to do good through business,” Reif says. “Both Matt and myself have deeply rooted our personal lives in compassion.”
Their way of incorporating this compassion into their business model is by purchasing a RUTF (ready-to-use therapeutic food) for every jar of peanut butter sold. The RUTF is a peanut paste mixed with vitamins, proteins and minerals given to malnourished children.
As a small company with delicious products and a socially responsible business plan, Yumbutter seems a natural fit for Martha Stewart’s domestic empire.
And this isn’t the first time Stewart has highlighted Madison entrepreneurs. Alisa Toninato of FeLion Studios, another local company, showcased at the American Made Awards last year. She was an honored “Tastemaker” for her United States-shaped cast iron skillets, which have become a symbol of the American Made brand.
For more information, visit yumbutter.com.