BNutty, a Portage, Ind.-based producer and distributor of all-natural, artisanal peanut butter, announced the opening of its new facility in northwest Indiana to support its expansion plans, which expect to create up to 100 new jobs by 2021.
"As a state, we're committed to cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that offers the support and resources small businesses like BNutty need to launch and grow here," said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). "We’re excited to celebrate the next step forward for BNutty as it opens its new facility in Portage, increasing its food production capacity and creating 100 good jobs in northwest Indiana."
The company, which offers an assortment of unique flavors and combinations of peanut butter, is investing more than $1.9 million to expand its operations in northwest Indiana after outgrowing its former 2,500-square-foot facility. To support its growth, BNutty is leasing, renovating and equipping a 16,000-square-foot food production center at 6370 AmeriPlex Drive in the AmeriPlex at the Port business park in Portage. The new building, which is located in close proximity to Interstate 94 and Interstate 80, will allow the company to enhance its distribution and co-packing operations and meet growing demand for its products.
BNutty, which has 15 full-time employees in Indiana, is currently hiring production and marketing associates as well as an administrative assistant and a logistics and warehouse manager. Interested applicants may apply by calling 888.426.8889 or emailing resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We live in this community and believe it's important to give back to it," said Joy Thompkins, founder of BNutty. "We're beyond grateful for the support we've received in northwest Indiana, and are so excited to have our community with us today to celebrate BNutty's grand opening in Portage."
BNutty was founded in 2014 by Thompkins, who initially launched the company to raise money for her local youth soccer club and later brought on fellow soccer mom and partner Carol Podolak to assist with sales and marketing. The company's peanut butter is produced in 2-ounce, 8-ounce and 12-ounce jars, using freshly-ground, honey-roasted peanuts grown in the U.S and additional ingredients like chocolate, berries, oats, honey, marshmallows and pretzels. BNutty sells its products in specialty stores and shops across northwest Indiana and Illinois as well as major retailers such as Walmart and QVC. The company offers 14 unique flavors, including popular items like Irresistible Pretzel, Totally Toffee, Simply Salted Caramel and Blissful Blueberries.
“The northwest Indiana community has been supportive of BNutty since we first introduced our products," Podolak said. "We love the region, and the opportunities for new business are endless here. Northwest Indiana has everything that a small business needs to succeed, including support from local and state government, organizations designed to promote small business growth, and easy access to a major city, airport and talented workforce. We're deeply involved with our community and couldn’t imagine growing anywhere else."
The IEDC offered BNutty up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Portage approved additional incentives in support of the project.
“Today’s announcement will have a lasting positive impact on Portage and all of northwest Indiana,” said Portage Mayor John Cannon. “We’re excited to celebrate BNutty’s new facility, and look forward to witnessing their continued success as they produce nationally-recognized peanut butter in northwest Indiana with the help of our talented workforce."
Indiana is home to more than 512,000 small businesses like BNutty that employ over 1.2 million Hoosiers. The state ranks No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 6 in the nation on the small business policy index (SBE Council 2019) and has an ‘A’ grade for ease of starting a business (Thumbtack 2018).