In our Supplier Stories series, we’re featuring our wonderful suppliers! So many of them have special stories, from women entrepreneurs to family farms to mission-driven folks who want to make a difference. Some are local — only available in a couple of stores or states — while others are growing along with us. Follow along as we share their tales.
For NuttZo founder and CEO Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi creating a better nut butter was more than a passion project, it was a family affair. Danielle and her husband were so moved by a news story they heard on suffering children in a Romanian orphanage, they decided to do something about it. While the couple hadn’t considered adopting previously, in 2002 they traveled to the Ukraine where they met and adopted three-year old Gregory. The orphanage conditions were grim, and Gregory had numerous medical concerns, including severe malnutrition. Unfortunately, Greg found eating a challenge, so Danielle struggled with how to fuel his body.
A Nutty Idea Is Born
Then Danielle had an epiphany, “One day I had the idea to take my childhood favorite ‘peanut butter’ and mix it with a bunch of nuts and seeds in my food processor to make a yummy complete protein superfood nut butter that I could put on a banana or apple slice for Greg. Voilà! He loved it!”
In 2005 the couple traveled back to the Ukraine to adopt one-year old Matthew, who also suffered from malnutrition. And yet, they still wanted to do more to support the Ukrainian orphans, many of whom are turned out to the streets at just 14-years old where they face homelessness and more.
In 2008, Danielle took a leap of faith by quitting her steady job, “combining love and a necessity to solve a problem” and starting NuttZo, a company that makes multi-nut and seed butters.
Concurrently, she and her husband started Project Left Behind, a project-focused, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that volunteers, donates and supports orphaned and neglected children around the world. Project Left Behind ensures 100% of the money it raises goes to children, not the nonprofit’s overhead or salaries. The organization seeks to support orphanages that often lack visibility and backing from the government or large donors, and they schedule annual “voluntour” trips to provide more awareness and support for their projects.
Sales from each jar of NuttZo helps support the nonprofit. NuttZo has donated over $100,000 to Project Left Behind from the sale of its products during the past six years.
Build a Better PB&J
NuttZo offers delicious flavors each with a medley of seven organic nuts and seeds. All varieties are vegan, gluten free, Non-GMO Project Verified and are made without added sugar, palm oil, soy or dairy. Stop in your local Whole Foods Market store and pick up paleo-friendly, non-peanut Organic Power Fuel, which comes in both crunchy and creamy varieties, or Organic Paleo Chocolate Power Fuel, a chocolate hazelnut butter.