WHO IS PIC?
Yep, there is a guy named Pic and he started Pic’s Peanut Butter. 'Picot' is his last name and his nickname has been Pic since he was at school. A Kiwi and a Nelsonian for over 25 years, he is our founder and Chief Peanut Butter Maker. Now he travels the world telling everyone about his peanut butter. He’s happy to try any peanut butter going, but has yet to meet one that tastes better than ours.
NB: While Pic isn’t his certified name (we won’t tell you what is) it is what everyone calls him, except for his Mum and Air New Zealand.
He's also written a book, so if you want to read more about what got our Chief PBM to where he is today, we recommend you grab yourself a copy!
I knew how peanut butter was made because my mum and aunty used to make it - roast peanuts and squash them. So, I made a few jars for my son and myself initially, then made a few more for friends. When one of my 12-year-old son’s friends offered me five dollars for a jar I figured there might be a market out there.
That was in 2007. I was pretty much retired. My eyesight had deteriorated and I’d been pronounced legally blind. I’d had to sell the sailing school I’d established in Nelson, but retained a small laundromat at the marina where the yachties washed their clothes. When the laundromat’s lease expired, I figured I could sell a bit of peanut butter to replace the pocketful of weekend cash I had grown accustomed to.
I set myself a target of fifty jars a week and spent $10,000 on stock and machinery. I bought a stainless-steel concrete mixer from an engineering firm in Westport, a second-hand grinder from our local bulk food store, a laser printer with which to print labels and half a tonne of peanuts from an Aucklander called Greg. I dragged the mixer up into the garage and rigged a burner under it to roast the nuts and set up the grinder on my dining table.
Pic’s Peanut Butter opened for business at Nelson’s weekly farmer’s market in November 2007. We didn’t quite sell out, but the next week, returning customers cleaned us out completely. I loved running the stall and I was quite happy to make peanut butter on Friday morning and sell it in the afternoon, a routine that worked well with a full-time writing course I was doing.
Anyway, one thing led to another. In 2008 I sold 48 jars to our local supermarket and took to the road. Within a year you could buy Pic's in 50 outlets around the country. Then we were picked up by both of NZ's supermarket chains and suddenly Pic's was available pretty much anywhere in New Zealand.
My sister Judy began selling Pic’s by mail order in Australia in 2012 and by 2016 we were stocked by both leading supermarket chains. Other countries developed a liking for Pic’s and it went on sale in China, SE Asia, the UK and America.
I watched a huge truck being loaded with peanut butter for Australia a few days ago, and I really had to pinch myself. It has all come as such a surprise. It's all so much fun, and I get to meet so many lovely people. Make sure you come visit us at Pic’s Peanut Butter World in Nelson, New Zealand sometime soon.
Chief Peanut Butter Maker