Krema Nut Co. flourishing more than a century after its foundingBusiness Profiles — By Melanie McIntyre on December 17, 2012 at 8:00 am
A man by the name of Benton Black founded Krema Nut Co. in Central Ohio in 1898. More than 100 years later, the business continues to be one of the most successful in the region.
Krema’s first product was peanut butter. In fact, it is among the oldest peanut butter producers in the country.
Peanut butter was “a protein substitute for folks with not-so-good dental work who couldn’t eat meat,” says Brian Giunta, vice president and co-owner of Krema.
To this day, the company’s peanut butter recipe remains the same; its ingredients are nuts.
No, really. That’s it. No sugar, salt, or preservatives are added.
Krema uses “only the highest quality nuts available− the biggest, best and tastiest,” Giunta says. “We don’t want to sell run-of-the-mill products.”
It’s the company’s strong commitment to quality, along with exceptional customer service, that explains why it has been able to stay in business for so long, he says.
The fact that Krema now sells more than 250 products −from almond and cashew nut butters and various nut mixes to candies and chocolates− probably doesn’t hurt either.
Though Krema has changed hands a few times since its founding, Giunta’s family has owned it for the last 22 years. And it’s arguable that the family’s ownership has been integral to the company’s success, having ushered it into the Internet Age.
“We were one of the first websites up in Columbus in 1994ish,” he says.
Today, about 30 percent of the company’s business is generated online; retail and wholesale account for the remaining 70 percent.
In addition to a store at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Krema has an on-site café at its headquarters, at 1000 W. Goodale Blvd. in Grandview, that is open to the public. There, customers can choose from more than a dozen sandwiches made with Krema’s nut butters and their choice of bread.
Among its most popular sandwiches is The Buckeye, which combines peanut butter and Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread.
The Buckeye State, and Columbus in particular, has been a good home for Krema.
“It’s a great city to be a part of,” Giunta says. “It has grown so much in the past several years. We are very excited about our developing neighbor, Grandview Yard, as traffic on Goodale has increased dramatically.”
When asked what Giunta wants Krema to accomplish in the years ahead, his answer was simple: ”Continue to make awesome new products and continue to delight more and more people with our high-quality products we work so hard to make.”
To learn more about Krema Nut Co., visit Krema.com.
Melanie McIntyre has served as editorial director of The Metropreneur since its launch in 2010. She previously worked as a staff writer for a business and legal newspaper, where she wrote more than 500 stories about finance and real estate and development in Central Ohio. Since 2008, Melanie has worked on a freelance basis for several local entities, including Columbus Underground, where she is a featured writer. She also blogs about fashion, style, and pop culture at Thoroughly Modern Melly. Melanie is a graduate of The Ohio State University, lives in the Short North, and enjoys reading and running.
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