Entrepreneur aims for grocery shelves with new line of peanut butters

June 21, 2019

When your name is Brandan Fokken, and you start a business based on nuts, the name just sort of creates itself.

So, naturally, it’s called Fokken Nuts.

But the brand itself is awfully family-friendly, with Fokken’s 2-year-old son, Eastan, quickly becoming the face of the business, making occasional appearances on the company’s social media posts with a face covered in Fokken Nuts peanut butter.

Fokken, a Sioux Falls native, started the company April 2, a launch date he said unintentionally fell on National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.

Since then, Fokken has filled thousands of orders for his organic nut butters — one of which is named after his son.

Tutti’s Blend is a combination of Eastan’s three favorite things: almond butter, dark chocolate and salt.

“Tutti” is the nickname passed down from Eastan’s grandfather to his mother and now from his mother to him.

Fokken said his son is a big reason he works so hard developing his brand, so he can provide his family with the security he never had.

Fokken’s deep appreciation for peanut butter stems from a childhood he describes as “turbulent.”

“You know sometimes we couldn’t even keep food on the shelves,” he said. “So a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was always this staple food at my grandpa and grandma’s house that I looked forward to having.”

On New Year’s Eve, Fokken, a fitness pro and owner of Fokken Strong Training, finally committed to pursuing his dream of owning a peanut butter company.

He developed the Fokken Nuts brand and bought into a company in New York called Capitol City Specialties, which provides the facilities and means to make and ship the peanut butter for him.

Fokken Nuts is different from other brands, Fokken said, because of its commitment to quality, organic products and its multitude of different flavors, which are intended to attract customers of all ages and lifestyles.

“You’ll never see my face associated with this brand because I’m not someone who is relatable,” he said. “I don’t want people to think this is only for people in the fitness industry. That’s why Eastan is so perfect for the brand because he’s just a cute 2-year-old; he’s not threatening to anyone.”

In addition to Tutti’s Blend, Fokken Nuts sells six other fixed flavors: smooth, crunchy, white chocolate, cookie dough, cookies and cream, and brownie.

The company also routinely comes out with limited-edition flavors, including a fruity-pebble-flavored “Freedom Spread” that is set to be released on the Fourth of July.

Fokken Nuts peanut butter has a yearlong shelf life, but Fokken said it’s best fresh, which is why he offers smaller 4-ounce jars, so customers can use what they need while it’s fresh without committing to finishing a larger jar before ordering more.

“You can really taste the difference in peanut butter that’s been sitting around for a couple of months, so even though the small jars are actually more expensive to make, I’ll take that loss so that people will always have fresh product,” he said.

While he’s sold online and at Science Nutrition until now, he just finalized a deal for his first order with Hy-Vee, a goal he had set for his first year in business.

Fokken Nuts offers free shipping on orders of more than $99, but Fokken said he encourages customers to join the company’s email list for seasonal deals and random coupon codes.

The flavored peanut butters sell for $3.69 for a 4-ounce jar and $9.69 for a 16-ounce jar. Tutti’s Blend, which uses an almond butter base, sells for $4.69 for 4-ounce jars and $12.99 for 16 ounces.

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Entrepreneur aims for grocery shelves with new line of peanut butters

Since launching earlier this year, Fokken Nuts is expanding its line of peanut butters and using an adorable 2-year-old ambassador.

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