Eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich evokes childhood memories, but one Zionsville resident wants to change the way people think about peanut butter.
Jameson Wallein, a 2008 Zionsville Community High School graduate, founded his own company, Big Dipper Peanut Butter.
“I hope to change people’s views of peanut butter,” he said. “I want to show people that you can eat it straight out of the jar, use it as a workout supplement or put it on top of ice cream. You can do all of that, and it still makes a nice sandwich.”
As a freshman at Indiana University, Wallein, a vegetarian, found himself going through a jar of peanut butter every day.
“I was trying to get my protein by eating peanut butter,” he said. “It was always a hassle to go to the supermarket since I didn’t have a car. So, I started mixing stuff in with it to make it last longer. Then, I realized that it was really pretty good.”
Wallein’s friends began to notice his creations.
“Whenever my friends came over and had it, they just loved it,” he said. “Most people started eating a jar in one sitting. I started selling it to them, but I was just selling it at cost and not making money from it.”
During his senior year at IU, Wallein found it too difficult to run a business and get an economics degree at the same time.
“I had essentially given it up because I didn’t have the time to make it,” he said. “People kept asking me to make some, and I had to tell them I couldn’t.”
Now that he graduated, Wallein has the time to devote himself to his business.
“I decided to give it a fair chance after I graduated,” he said. “I decided to see if there is a demand for it. My family has always run their own business. My father has a third generation plant business; so, I guess I have always had that entrepreneurship gene.”
One of the most popular varieties of Big Dipper Peanut Butter is the Original Trail Mix, a honey roasted peanut butter with peanuts, chocolate, raisins and flax seed.
Big Dipper Peanut Butter will be sold at the Zionsville Farmers’ Market, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays in the parking lot at the intersection of Main and Hawthorne streets.