Not many students are able to balance a full time college schedule and a business at the same time, but that is exactly what Meghan VanAuken is doing. Meghan is currently a second semester senior at UAlbany while simultaneously running her own start-up business. It all began in 2015 when Meghan decided to make an original and tasty Christmas gift for a close friend of hers. "I've always been into making homemade stuff, so during that season I gave gifts that were more personal and meaningful" she explains. She decided to put peanuts and Oreo's into a blender to eventually make a flavorful peanut butter that caught the attention of many others.
Unbeknownst to Meghan, her concoction would ultimately lead to the start of her peanut butter company named NutMeg's. Meghan's peanut butter comes in a variety of eight different flavors such as Chunky Monkey (chocolate peanut butter with banana chips), Oh-Kay (honey peanut butter with chipotle spices), and Cookie-Doo (brown sugar peanut butter with caramel drizzle). "As far as the different flavors go, I was really influenced by the opinions of my friends/family. I also played off of what I thought people would like. For example, my favorite flavor is BlissBerry because I really liked the taste of chocolate covered fruit." she says. Meghan decided to make the peanut butter friendly to appeal to more crowds.
Just a few weeks ago, Meghan partnered with her best friend, Lara. The two decided that the profits from the tabling would go to a good cause, a charity named Wobbly Feet. The nonprofit helps children diagnosed with the rare disease Ataxia Telangiectasia. "Lara's younger cousin Conor has a rare genetic disorder, so we decided that we should help the foundation he is apart of." States Meghan.
In the next few years, Meghan hopes to see her peanut butter on store shelves. The butter is so tasty that they even attract non-peanut butter lovers. MASH team member Ashley Mena says, "I don't normally like peanut butter, but I really like the Oh-Kay flavor. It has a nice kick to it." By partnering with MASH, NutMeg's has gained exposure from fellow students on campus who have purchased jars while donating to a good cause. As a full time student, Meghan hopes to expand her business more once she graduates this semester.
To learn more about NutMeg's, check out their Facebook page! If you are a small business interested in working with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.