What started as a simple craving for fresh-ground peanut butter has grown into a new business for Rapid City resident Erika Peterson.
Nerdy Nuts is a small-batch peanut butter company headquartered in Peterson’s kitchen, specializing in mouthwatering flavors, such as Butter Toffee and Honey Roasted.
“We’re not these crazy peanut butter people, we just enjoy having fresh peanut butter,” said Peterson.
The 31-year-old, along with her partner Craig Mount, 32, grew up in South Dakota. When the couple moved to Colorado after college, they grew accustomed to the freshly ground peanut butter readily available in nearby stores.
However, when Peterson and Mount moved back to South Dakota, they chose to purchase a commercial peanut grinder rather than go without their tasty treat.
“It started with us just wanting to make sure we had fresh-ground peanut butter at home,” said Peterson. “Not a lot of people have had that in South Dakota, and that’s why I think people love it so much, because it tastes so different and it’s a different texture. It has a lot more flavor.”
After whipping up small batches for themselves, Peterson posted on her personal social media profile asking if any family or friends would also like some. When over a dozen jars were requested, Peterson was pleasantly overwhelmed, having to purchase 50 pounds of peanuts to fulfill the orders.
“i would say our most popular way that people eat our peanut butter is with a spoon. We’ve had a lot of people use it for your basics, like toast or english muffins, but then people also like to use it in their protein smoothies, and a lot of people like to make peanut butter power balls.”
MAKE PEANUT BUTTER POWER BALLS
For a healthy, low-calorie snack with flavor, whip up a batch of these tasty Peanut Butter Power Bites using your choice of Nerdy Nuts Homemade Peanut Butter.
» 2/3 CUP NERDY NUTS PEANUT BUTTER
» 1/2 CUP SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS
» 1 CUP OLD-FASHIONED OATS
» 1/2 CUP GROUND FLAX SEEDS
» 2 TABLESPOONS HONEY
» COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS IN A MEDIUM BOWL. STIR TO COMBINE.
» PLACE IN THE REFRIGERATOR FOR 15-30 MINUTES SO THEY’RE EASIER TO ROLL.
» ROLL INTO 12 BITES AND STORE IN THE FRIDGE FOR UP TO A WEEK.
Word quickly spread through town, and Nerdy Nuts was formed. The new business really picked up speed after receiving an invitation to participate in the Black Hills Farmers Market.
Fast forward to the holiday season, and Peterson was having 1,000 pounds of peanuts delivered by semi-truck to her house every week-and-a-half to keep up with orders.
“In my neighborhood everybody knows me as the peanut butter lady now,” said Peterson.
Nerdy Nuts has expanded to include four main flavors, including White Chocolate and Mocha. The company also rotates seasonal flavors, like Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread.
Each jar is made fresh with no preservatives. The most popular flavor, especially with children, is White Chocolate. A labor of love, each batch is made by melting down white chocolate chips, hand mixing it into the freshly ground peanut butter, and then filling each jar by hand.
Children and adults alike enjoy spreading it on their PB&J or peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It’s a tasty way for parents to give their kids a good source of protein.
“I would say our most popular way that people eat our peanut butter is with a spoon,” said Peterson. “We’ve had a lot of people use it for your basics, like toast or English muffins, but then people also like to use it in their protein smoothies and a lot of people like to make peanut butter power balls.”
Nerdy Nuts has 12-ounce jars available for $7.00- $8.00, as well as gift baskets for any occasion ranging from $20.00-$40.00.
Hungry customers can submit orders through the Nerdy Nuts Facebook page or Instagram account. The business will ship its homemade products anywhere in South Dakota. Nerdy Nuts can also be found selling peanut butter at local events and farmers’ markets in the summer.
Peterson is eager to expand her company, currently busy working on a website. She hopes to soon ship nationally and get a permanent commercial kitchen, allowing her to continue creating fun flavors. There might even be a peanut butter subscription in the future.
“I think it would be fun to have all of that available and know that it started here in South Dakota,” said Peterson.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT NERDYNUTS.COM.