Teddie Peanut Butter: Spread the Local Love
In Everett, there’s a modest 2 story mid-century building that might go unnoticed. That is, if there wasn’t a 10-foot teddy bear on top. The ever-present smell of roasting nuts helps, too.
I chatted with Mark Hintlian, the president and 3rd generation to run the Leavitt Corporation, makers of Teddie Peanut Butter. Hintlian’s grandfather, Michael, an Armenian immigrant, started out making candy in 1925. Candy led to nuts which turned into peanut butter, and the smooth and chunky stuff has been the focus since.
Hintlian’s father, James, moved the company from State Street in Boston to a new factory in Everett in 1960, where things have pretty much remained the same, including many of the employees. More than half have 20+ years at Leavitt, some north of 40 and 50.
Hintlian himself started hanging about the factory when he was 11, expressing interest in the family business, and as a teen, worked in the warehouse loading trucks during school vacations. After college and a stint at a food brokerage company, he started in sales at Teddie.
Still using Michael’s original recipe, this natural brand is no more than just peanuts and sometimes salt, so the dedication is to the strictest quality controls. Having never experienced a recall, they’ve even had larger manufacturers fly in to check out their practices. Teddie only takes the best USA-grown nuts (mainly from Georgia), roasts and grinds them same day, and in most cases, they’re on the supermarket shelves the same week. That fresh taste puts Teddie as the top-selling natural peanut butter in the Northeast. They have almost a cult following; once you taste it, you can’t go back, says Hintlian.
Hintlian would know. He averages a jar of Teddie Super Chunky a week, either in a sandwich (no jelly!) at lunch, or his favorite, on a slightly over-toasted Thomas’ English muffin.
With Teddie’s presence at this year’s Boston Local Food Festival on October 7th, Hintlian looks forward to being a part of the local landscape. “The Northeast is our core market, Boston is our home”, he says. Meeting existing Teddie fans, sampling Teddie Natural, and creating new fans will only help spread the word that Teddie is the best. No ifs, ands, or nuts.