Laurel Bickford is a bit of a peanut butter hoarder.
“I once looked in my cabinet and had over 10 jars,” the IFBB professional figure bodybuilder and Patchogue resident said.
She’d eat peanut butter by the spoonful, still does, but these days the peanut butter she’s scooping up is her own.
After staring at that cabinet full of peanut butter and understanding there were a ton of added sugars and oils in all those jars, Bickford decided to try making her own peanut butter, knowing that then she’d be sure of what she was eating.
That was two years ago. Today, Laurel’s Butter has about 12 flavors marketed with the slogan ‘no crap just nuts.’
“It’s all real ingredients,” Bickford said. “I want people to have a healthy lifestyle, which is part of the reason I have so many flavors.”
The Vanilla Espresso, for instance is what Bickford recommends with a banana before a workout, The Selfie as protein in a shake and the new I’m Coco-Nutty as an everyday treat.
“That one is pretty great anytime,” Bickford laughed.
The other reason for all the different kinds of peanut butter is that Bickford is a bit of a foodie and loves experimenting with new flavors—a benefit to all those that love peanut butter.
Think Maple Bacon Peanut Butter and Hot Nutz made with wasabi peas. Bickford is always looking for new ingredients to try, especially when she can source them from other Long Island food producers like Sail Away Coffee whose espresso she uses in that Vanilla Espresso peanut butter.
“I love supporting local businesses and I think it’s neat to see how others use my peanut butter,” Bickford said.
That peanut butter in the acai bowls at Superbowls in Sayville? It’s Laurel’s Butter, as is the peanut butter on top of burgers at Local Burger Co. in Bay Shore and soon there may even be a peanut butter grilled cheese sandwich at AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese.
“I like people to experiment and make food fun,” Bickford said. “Have clean gluten free pancakes with peanut butter for breakfast, use it in paleo gluten free cookies or in Thai food.”
As Bickford continues to play with flavors she’s seeing her business grow. In 2015 she started shipping all across the country and this year she’s hoping to get into a warehouse and produce on an even higher scale.