Local nut butter business sees rapid growth

Humble Nut Butter co-founders Jess and John Waller
Humble Nut Butter co-founders Jess and John Waller (right) cook with Minneapolis chef and author Beth Dooley (left). Dooley recently helped the company develop new recipes that feature their nut butters. Submitted photo

In the fall of 2017, John and Jess Waller wanted a snack.

They craved something savory, but nothing in the fridge at their Linden Hills home sounded appealing. That’s when Jess Waller used some raw nuts and spices to create a new spread. One the couple went nuts for.

A year later, they had three different nut butter recipes and a new business venture.

“We felt confident and had enough good feedback to launch the business,” John Waller said.

In 2018, they took their wares to farmers markets in Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs and liked the feedback they received and the rate they sold their jars.

“You could see people’s eyes light up,” John Waller said.

Since then, John Waller has quit his job, committing full time to their business, Humble Nut Butter.

After a year of cooking at The Lynhall’s incubator kitchen at 27th & Lyndale, Humble Nut Butter expanded in 2019, and is now cooking at the commercial space at Jewish Housing and Programming’s Nosh and Nibble kitchen in Golden Valley.

humble nut butter jars

Their three flavors—Sundried Basil Cashew, Truffle Herb Walnut and Spiced Maple Pecan— are now available all over the metro. While farmers markets continue to be a place for the Wallers to make personal connections with customers, their products are now on the shelf at several local grocers, including France 44, Linden Hills Co-op, Wedge Community Co-op and Lakewinds Food Co-op branches throughout the metro.

The Wallers are partial to the Truffle Herb Walnut flavor, but say the Sundried Basil Cashew is the best seller.

They advise consumers use the spreads for cooking, to dip veggies or as a condiment. The couple recently partnered with Minneapolis chef and author Beth Dooley to generate original recipes that incorporate their spreads.

They source their nuts, spices and packaging from area vendors.

“We try to do as much locally as we can,” John Waller said.