If the only peanut butter you’ve had is the mass-produced variety, Hann.D Made peanut butter, created right here in Coventry, is a revelation. Creamy and mouth-coating in the way that only peanut butter can be, the original ‘nothing added’ variety has a soft, slightly grainy texture and delivers an intense hit of peanut followed by a deep salty finish. Basically, it’s a packet of peanuts – but spreadable! And if you like the sound of that – here’s some even better news: it also comes in four more-ish flavours.
“At the moment I make banana, dark chocolate, cherry bakewell and biscoff peanut butters” says business-owner Hannah. “Flavoured peanut butters are quite niche” she continues “but the more I’ve been doing it, the more I’ve found other people that are doing it. There are bigger companies that are doing it, but you don’t seem to see it much in the shops”.
So how did Hannah get into making such an unusual product? “I started out just making it for myself” she says “in my mum’s old food processor that she didn’t use any more! But my partner liked it and he suggested I introduce some flavours and try selling it to people. I was very sceptical because I didn’t even know where to start; but then I went to the Good Food Show in Birmingham and I came across a couple of stalls selling different kinds of nut butters. One of them was run by a young woman just like me, and I thought, ‘if she can do it, so can I!’”
“I gave little sample pots to friends and family to try” she continues “just so that they could give me feedback. They loved it, and they started telling other people about it, and it got to the point where I almost couldn’t keep up, so that’s when I started selling it”.
Since then Hannah has acquired a new, heavy-duty blender and a Food Hygiene Certificate for her kitchen at home. “Peanut butter isn’t difficult to make” she says “but with the flavoured ones, you have to do a lot of experimentation, otherwise it’s too much flavouring and not enough peanut, or too much peanut and not enough flavouring.” She finds that flavours tend to blend better with smooth peanut butter, but she can do crunchy if required.
And while her peanut butters are obviously ideal to be enjoyed on toast or over porridge, she’s also keen for customers to explore their use in baking and cookery generally. “They’ve been used by local brownie makers in their brownies” she says “and a woman who’s a chef has used my original peanut butter to make an Asian-style satay sauce. She loved working with it and the picture she put on Instagram looked amazing! Currently, I’m looking at extending the range of savoury flavours with maybe a chilli flavour, and also seasonal flavours for different times of year.”
All Hann.D.Made peanut butters are vegetarian and gluten-free, and some are vegan. “But I’m experimenting with ways to adapt them” explains Hannah. “The banana one isn’t vegan, but if I took out one ingredient – which is only there to improve the texture – it would be”. (It turns out that texture is a difficult thing to get right because peanut butter lovers are divided over it. “Some like it runny, some like it quite firm” says Hannah.) They come in plastic-free glass jars and Hannah operates a deposit scheme – return your empty jar, and you get 50p off your next purchase.
Hannah’s peanut butters cost £4 (original) or £4.50 (flavoured) for a 200ml jar, or you can multi-buy two jars for £8 or three jars for £12. If you’d like to sample them, contact Hannah through Facebook or Instagram to find out more. They will also be on sale at Zero Store’s new plastic-free shop (hurrah!) which will be opening soon in Leamington.