The Peanut Butter & Co. sandwich shop opened near the New York University campus in Manhattan 16 years ago, offering any type of peanut butter treats you can dream of.
The demand for its whimsical custom peanut butter products such as Smooth Operator and White Chocolate Wonderful quickly outgrew the shop, and Lee Zalben, founder and president of the company, decided to expand the brand to retail.
Peanut Butter & Co. now makes some 4 million jars of peanut butter at its production facility in Georgia, the heart of peanut country, that are sold in 15,000 stores in North America and many more worldwide. The company makes 10 different kinds of peanut butter, a variety of jams, and other peanut butter products such as portable squeeze pack and snacks.
We stopped by the one and only Peanut Butter & Co. sandwich shop near Washington Square Park to learn how Zalben created a peanut butter empire out of a sandwich shop.
Produced by Kamelia Angelova and Robert Libetti. Originally published in March 2013.
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