“We’re always looking at growing. Jeff likes to say ‘one nut at a time,’” Denise Malkoon, co-founder of Peanut Butter Americano said.
Tucked away in the southwest corner of Camelback and Central Ave. in uptown Phoenix, is Arizona’s only local peanut butter company on store shelves, Peanut Butter Americano. Since 2012, the brother and sister duo have been whipping up unique peanut butter – and now almond butter – flavors for Valley residents. To date, they have four unique flavors of peanut butter – Classic, Choco Blanco, Cinnamon Honey and Dark Chocolate – and two flavors of almond butter – Classic Almond and Cinnamon Roasted Almond.
Five years ago, Jeff Malkoon was backpacking in South America and volunteering for non-profit organization, Un Techo para mi País, when he realized there was a lack of excitement for new peanut butter flavors. Once he arrived home, he started experimenting with new flavors in his mother’s kitchen, breaking a few Cuisinart mixers in the process.
After starting off in local farmers markets with the help of their family, the company’s market has grown to over 100 grocery stores Arizona-wide. If you love buying locally sourced products, the Malkoons are just about as local as it gets.
“If we look back at the migration of our family,” Denise Malkoon said. “Our early ancestors actually came through Globe and sold mining products and materials… and eventually made their way to the Phoenix area. My dad was born and raised in the Coronado district, and my mom grew up in central Phoenix.”
The Malkoon duo love central Phoenix. It’s where they’ve lived most of their lives, they both went to Arizona State University and they don’t have any plans to leave the area. They are always looking to expand and are in the process of looking for a space where they can have an office space as well as production and retail space rolled into one.
“Seeing it [Phoenix] grow so much, there’s this odd, kind of like unjustified sense of pride,” Denise said. “You know… from just seeing the whole city grow, especially being able to partake in the economic development of kind of like the grass roots of the developing of a city by providing jobs and adding value to communities.”
Photos courtesy of Peanut Butter Americano.