Natty Postimees Maaelus

A great article about Natty’s work was published today. Let’s copy it here too!
Link to rural life – https://maaelu.postimees.ee/6544701/mahe-pahklivoi-valmib-koolisooklas

Author and photos: Tiit Efert

Organic peanut butter is made in the school canteen

The Konguta school canteen in Annikoru, Tartu County, is bitter with work on Sunday. Emerson Siimer and Martti Tammaru from Elva roast peanuts with a couple of helpers and make peanut butter under the Natty brand.

It is a real busy day, lasting from early white to late evening, a total of 14 hours. Men work such working days on average once a month. The last time before February was in December. In November, peanut butter had to be made twice, as demand increased before Christmas. Peanut butter lasts for a year, so it can be produced in advance at the warehouse in Elva. All production, from roasting, crushing, weighing to labeling, is pure craftsmanship.

An idea from New Zealand

Three years ago, Emerson and his partner visited New Zealand to see the production process of a local peanut butter company. Emerson started ringing in his head because no such product was made in Estonia. I had an idea to try. When he arrived in Estonia, Martti was also involved in the implementation of the idea. Men are friends from the first grade. In addition to the production of peanut butter, Martti does brand marketing and creates advertisements.

Martti had previously been exposed to poor peanut butter, from which natural peanut oils are extracted and replaced with cheap palm oil. “It simply came to our notice then. But when I got to taste the first test of the future Natty factory, I was sold, ”says Martti. Therefore, the only conceivable option was to make a mild and healthy product that would contain natural ingredients. “We realized we had to do our best.”

The nut-making process started in the home kitchen, where 14 cans per hour could be produced. The product was offered at fairs, tastings were organized and feedback was sought. “We tried to understand if there is any demand in Estonia at all,” says Martti. The men were excited about the feedback and decided to formalize the production.

In the beginning, there was a selection of classic creamy and crunchy peanut butter with larger pieces of nuts and sea salt crystals. Later, peanut butter with chili seeds was added. Since production started before Christmas, gingerbread-flavored peanut butter was also made. At the moment it is no longer in the assortment, but the first organic cashew butter produced in Estonia was added – Kasu. Peanut butter can already be purchased from several regular shops, in addition to organic shops. Kashu is available in the Natty online store.

Production in a school kitchen

The men realized that a home stove and food processor would not get far. We had to buy a special machine. But where to get the money? The men freed themselves from paid employment and started writing a business plan. At first glance, the answer was no, but after the further development of the business plan, the word was yes. The necessary machine was purchased far from Australia. 2017. By November, everything was in place to start production.

At full capacity, 60 kilograms of peanut butter can be produced per hour.

According to the men, it was immediately clear that production would not be everyday. Therefore, it did not make sense to buy your own kitchen. The possibilities of using a rental kitchen in Tartu or near Elva were investigated. There were exciting offers, but the ovens were not powerful enough for large-scale production. In the end, an agreement was reached with Konguta School, which has a spacious enough kitchen and ovens for roasting. Thanks to the making of peanut butter in the school building, there will be a pleasant smell and a few cans of peanut butter for several days. “We’re tired of the smell ourselves, but others liked it,” Emerson said.

Roasting requires experience

The nuts are distributed on baking trays, roasting takes place at a precisely defined time and the temperature must be correct. The nuts must be cooled before crushing. Roasting at too high a temperature will result in nutty sawdust, but too low a temperature will not make the nut mass creamy enough. The ideal peanut butter was obtained through continuous experimentation and testing.

At full capacity, 60 kilograms of peanut butter can be produced per hour. It is worth noting that the weight of nuts and peanut butter corresponds to one thing – nothing is lost during roasting and crushing and nothing is replaced in the product. This is one thing that distinguishes poorer products from better ones. Good nuts are oily enough to form a nice creamy mass. According to Martti, making cheaper products makes oil squeezed out of nuts, it is sold separately and more expensive, but cheaper oil, vegetable fats and sugar are added to the nut mixture.

The quality of the finished product also depends on nuts, unfortunately they do not grow in Estonia. The first batch was ordered from Argentina. 50 kilograms of nuts finally reached the table of the residents of Elistvere Animal Park. “The finished product was basically sawdust,” describes Emerson.

Nuts are now being ordered from China, and they have the European Union’s organic label. This ensures the quality of the product. “We have been making and being satisfied with the quality of every batch of nuts for a year and a half,” says Martti.

During a busy working day, 250 kilograms of peanut butter are made. First make a creamy product, then a crunchy product and lastly a chili-seeded product.

In addition to the e-store, Natty’s products are on sale in Rimi’s “Farm Feeds” department, Kaubamaja, Biomarket, Organic Market and Elva Tarbajate Ühistu Coop stores. There are a total of 40 outlets.

The production of peanut butter is, above all, a training ground for the food industry for men. Emerson studies nature tourism at the University of Life Sciences, and Martti does marketing work. Waksal Wabrik restaurant in Elva also works together.

Up to ten products

There are plans to increase Natty’s assortment, but not too much. “You can use other nuts, you can make almonds. There could be up to ten main products in the assortment, which can then be made well, ”Emerson discusses.

We are also thinking about exporting, the product catalog is currently being translated into Finnish. The men have found out that there is no local producer in Finland, which gives hope. “We’ve done preliminary work, but nothing specific has been agreed,” Emerson said.

Natty products have been a success in Estonian food competitions. Last year, Natty peanut butter with chili seeds was awarded in the regional competition for the best food in Estonia in the category of new products, and Kašu won the title of Tartu Taste 2018.

Emerson Siimer (right) and Martti Tammaru roast peanuts with a couple of helpers and make peanut butter under the Natty brand.
PHOTO: Tiit Efert

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