Food Entrepreneurs

The Peanut Butter Guy

by Edwan S. Photography Mel and Naz on Wed, November 04, 2015

Meet Joey - once upon a time he was in corporate comms, doing the rat race. Now he's making peanut butters. And loving it!

The best peanut butter we've tasted.

It takes a special kind of person to just leave their day jobs and a career built over years - completely - to embark on a small scale food business. Even more astounding is when the person leaves over a seemingly small matter: be it a love of food or in the case of Joey: a challenge.

Alzari 'Joey' Mahshar was in corporate communications and based in Singapore a few years back. His colleagues were from all around the region, including the Phillipines. Every once in a while, Joey's Filipino colleagues would bring over jars of home-made peanut butter. Himself being a lover of the stuff, he tried all of them, especially because home-made peanut butter was kinda of 'their thing' back then. But Joey thought he could do better.

Here's Joey, the 'Joey' in 'Joey's Home-made Peanut Butter'

"So my friends challenged me," Joey said. "They challenged me, or dared me, to come up with my own peanut butter recipe. One that would better the ones they brought from the Phillipines." So Joey took up the challenge and begin making his own peanut butter. After months and months of testing recipes and ingredients, he came up with it: Joey's Home-made Peanut Butter. He gave this home-made concoction to his friends, and the rest, they say, is history. But it didn't stop there, of course. Joey's friends that tried his peanut butter raved about it. Soon, other people began asking to buy the good stuff. It was then that Joey decided to take a leap of faith: he quit his job to focus completely on making and selling his home-made peanut butter.

Joey's peanut butter starts with groundnuts that he personally inspects for quality. "You can't have rancid nuts. It'll turn the entire batch of peanut butter bad."

All he needs is high quality peanuts, salt, sugar and oil

These nuts are then roasted in an oven until the natural oils and flavours develop. From here the nuts are cleaned and the skins removed, and then Joey blitzes them with salt and sugar in an industrial strength food processor. This machine spins its blades at thousands of rpm, making sure the nuts gain the right texture.

Bzzzzt... ting! Peanut butter done

And basically he's done. He checks the mixture constantly to ensure consistency of quality. The final butter is then stored or packaged, ready for sale.

"I went through several iterations of the recipe," said Joey. "I also experimented using different oils but found that a neutral oil like canola works best. Peanut oil gives huge flavour, but is also slightly overpowering," he explained. The most amazing thing about this whole process is that all the tools are in his home. So when it says 'home-made' on the label, it really means it, literally.

Gooey, nutty goodness

Other than the regular smooth peanut butter, Joey also makes a chunky version where he adds roughly processed roasted nuts to the mixture for a pleasant contrast of textures. In addition to these, there is an Almond Butter and a Cashew Butter.

Here's the almond version

He plans on a Pistachio version soon. He even makes a sugar-free version for diabetics or simply people who don't like too much sweetness in their peanut butter. "I've had failed experiments too," laughed Joey. "Once I tried to make a sunflower seed butter - you know, kuaci - but it didn't quite work as planned. The taste was fine, but the colour and the smell... Ugh!"

You can find Joey's Home-Made Peanut Butter at several grocery stores and food shops. They're priced at a premium, but the quality of the peanut butter absolutely makes it worthwhile. Keep in mind you'll be supporting a local entrepreneur too!

Ready to go!

Joey's Peanut Butter is great. The texture is thick and it's loaded with nut flavour, regardless of which type (peanut, almond, cashew) you buy. It's delicious slathered on toast or plain bread, baked in cookies or dolloped generously on ice cream. It's quite simply, the best peanut butter we've ever had.

The peanut butter is excellent with sweet cream ice cream

So does he regret leaving his corporate job? "Nope," said Joey. "It definitely wasn't easy," he mused. "But it has become my passion to make the best peanut butter. All you need is the highest quality ingredients and a genuine love for making it."