OmMade Peanut Butter is expanding from its original, home-based operation to a manufacturing operation over the next three years.
The company sells a wide-range of peanut butter options including flavors with chocolate, coconut, espresso and more, and a new flavor will be released in a couple weeks, according to Radhika Murari, founder and creator. Murari has lived in Reston since 1991.
Governor Northam announced the upcoming expansion in a press release yesterday.
Murari recently received a $25,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, a partnership between the Commonwealth, Fairfax County, and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
“It’s a real honor,” said Murari. “As the press release says, we’ve used Virginia peanuts since the beginning and so, it’s just really nice.”
The grant will secure the project for Virginia. Fairfax County will also match the grant with local funds, according to the press release, providing Murari with a total of $50,000 for the OmMade Peanut Butter manufacturing operation.
Murari sold her first jar of OmMade Peanut Butter in May of 2017. Customers can now buy jars at several Whole Food stores in Virginia, including locations in Arlington, Ashburn, Falls Church, Fairfax, McClean, Reston and Vienna. The peanut butter is also sold at the Carlyle House in Alexandra, Va.
Murari said expansion was inspired by an increase of production. She is “looking for a facility that allows for production and a storefront and we’re hoping to have other small businesses in the same space.”
The manufacturer will create five more jobs, according to the press release. Murari said these will be a range of jobs “anywhere from a production manager, to social media consultant, to people running the storefront.”
The location and address of the manufacturing operation is still to be determined.
Here’s more from Northam’s office:
RICHMOND–Governor Ralph Northam today announced that OmMade Peanut Butter, a Virginia’s Finest® company, will invest nearly $300,000 to establish an all-natural, gourmet peanut butter manufacturing operation in Fairfax County. Over the next three years, the woman- and minority-owned company will source 30,000 pounds of peanuts from Virginia farmers. The new facility will be located in one of the target redevelopment areas for the county and will feature a storefront to complement its production activities. The project will create five new jobs.
“Supporting innovative agribusinesses like OmMade Peanut Butter is key to spreading economic growth and opportunity to all parts of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “With bold and unique flavors, high-quality natural ingredients, and a commitment to locally-sourced peanuts, the company is a natural fit for Virginia. I also want to commend Fairfax County for its commitment to growing the next generation of Virginia’s business leaders.”
Radhika Murari began making peanut butter nearly eight years ago in an effort to create a preservative-free snack that was both delicious and healthy. After years of positive feedback, Murari started selling OmMade Peanut Butter at the Fairfax County Farmers’ Market. Success there led to new sales online and at area Whole Foods stores. With this project, Murari will move production from her home kitchen to a commercial facility and transition the home-based company into a job-creating business venture.
“Virginia has a long history of growing the world’s best peanuts, and thanks to companies like OmMade Peanut Butter, we are also home to some of the world’s best peanut butter,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that the Commonwealth has been able to support OmMade Peanut Butter, first through the Virginia’s Finest® program and now with this funding award. It is through partnerships like these that we keep our economy and our agricultural community growing.”
OmMade Peanut Butter has participated in the Virginia’s Finest® program since 2018. Created more than 30 years ago with more than 500 participating companies, the Virginia’s Finest® program identifies, differentiates and promotes top-quality Virginia-produced agriculture and specialty food and beverage products with a classic blue and red VA check mark logo.
“There is one simple reason for the success of OmMade Peanut Butter: Virginia peanuts,” said Radhika Murari, founder and creater of OmMade Peanut Butter. “Because of the unmatched flavor of Virginia peanuts, OmMade Peanut Butter is not only the best-tasting peanut butter on the market, it is also extremely healthy. I appreciate this support from Fairfax County and the Commonwealth, which will enable OmMade Peanut Butter to set up a commercial production facility and allow for nationwide sales expansion.”
The Commonwealth is partnering with Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Governor Northam approved a $25,000 grant from the AFID Fund to secure the project for Virginia, which Fairfax County will match with local funds.
Photos courtesy Radhika Murari
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