Home-based gourmet peanut butter maker OmMade Peanut Butter is graduating to a commercial facility and will establish production in a manufacturing facility in Fairfax County, with incentives from both the county and Virginia.
Reston, Virginia, resident Radhika Murari began producing her artisan peanut butter products, using Virginia peanuts, in her home in 2012, and then eventually selling products at the Fairfax County Farmers Market. She then expanded to an online retail store, and her products were carried by several Washington-area Whole Foods Markets.
OmMade Peanut Butter is among startup companies enrolled in the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Virginia’s Finest Trademark Program, which supports specialty food companies, processors and agricultural producers and promotes their products with its blue-and-red checkmark trademark.
Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced the OmMade Peanut Butter expansion, which means the company will invest $300,000 in its manufacturing operation in Fairfax County. It will receive a $25,000 grant from the state and a matching grant from Fairfax County.
OmMade Peanut Butter will also source 30,000 pounds of peanuts from Virginia farmers over the next three years. Virginia is one of the top-producing states for peanuts.
“Because of the unmatched flavor of Virginia peanuts, OmMade Peanut Butter is not only the best-tasting peanut butter on the market; it is also extremely healthy,” said Murari, a graduate of the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.
“I appreciate the support from Fairfax County and the Commonwealth, which will enable OmMade Peanut Butter to set up a commercial production facility and allow for nationwide sales expansion.”
Murari has not yet selected her manufacturing facility location, but hopes to find a spot in Reston. She is looking for about 1,000 square feet, which will include a retail store and space for occasional pop-ups for other small, startup local businesses.
How did she end up in the peanut butter business?
“I started making peanut butter for my son because products in the U.S. have a lot of artificial ingredients. I was holding a fundraiser for the ACLU and someone tried my peanut butter and said ‘You need to sell this. You’re sitting on a gold mine’,” Murari told WTOP.
OmMade peanut butters come in several flavors, including chocolate, coconut, espresso, mint and crunchy.