Betsy Opyt has done a lot of things in her life. She was crowned Miss Indiana in 2000, became a licensed dietitian, worked as a fitness trainer and has been selling her own organic peanut butter since 2013. Seems like a lot, right? Well she’s not finished yet, she says.
Opyt started Betsy’s Best making it by hand out of her kitchen and selling her nut and seed butters at farmer’s markets in Naples. Since then, it’s only picked up steam.
“It started off with just me and my husband and some friends just sitting in the kitchen on Friday night pumping out jar after jar,” Opyt said. “I thought maybe it might be a good idea to check about distribution after a couple of incredibly successful months of markets and research.”
She had her first sit down with specialty grocery chain Whole Foods shortly after.
“I gave the best, most informed presentation I possibly could, so I was on cloud nine when [they] told me they’d let me market in the entirety of Florida. I was floored. And I noticed he didn’t even try it!” Opyt said about a meeting with a representative from the chain.
Knowing her butter in and out, knowing what people looked forward to and having a solid marketing plan for the long run wowed the Whole Foods representative.
“I couldn’t believe it. [Expanding to] All of Florida was crazy and so exciting!”
She started working with a group in the midwest to manufacture and help her cover shipping since she went from a couple hundred jars a weekend to several thousand a week. And with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, the targets only gotten bigger.
“We’ve completely re-tooled how we approach selling,” Opyt said. “We’ve cultured our online presence, redesigned our Amazon page, speaking of which, we would sell nearly triple on the Amazon page that we would on my own website.”
Numbers became important, but Opyt wasn’t willing to sacrifice flavor or her recipes. Currently, Betsy’s Best has four varieties: cashew butter, almond butter, peanut butter, and seed butter, made with sunflower and chia seeds. Though there is one more flavor in the works, ‘Toasted Coconut and Cashew’ which will be an Amazon exclusive beginning in January – “I guess letting it out of the bag this late is fine, right?” she remarks after letting it slip – the focus isn’t on developing more varieties at this time.
Opyt said the newest flavor has spent just over a year in development.
“It takes a long time for me to get it just right, and I want it to show that my heart is in every bit of it,” Opyt said. “I don’t want to focus on expansion, not yet. I like to put a lot of thought and love in my butters so I know they’re what people like.”
“I just want people to get a little more out of something I can provide. A little healthier an option for something used so often. And if I can inspire just one more person its all the better for me.”
Betsy’s Best is available in 39 states, in over 2,900 stores total. You can find them at Whole Foods locations in Florida and online at Betsy’s Best’s website.
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