Jun 9, 2022 - Business

Durham nut butter maker Big Spoon Roasters plots big expansion

A worker makes nut butter with a machine.

Photo: Courtesy of Big Spoon Roasters.

Big Spoon Roasters, a Durham-based nut butter maker with distribution deals in Whole Foods, is set for a big expansion to Hillsborough. But the move is facing complications from rising prices.

  • The company is currently renovating a 16,500-square-foot building at 500 Meadowlands Dr. in Hillsborough and expects to move in August.
  • "We've needed a bigger production space and headquarters for three years now," co-founder Mark Overbay told Axios. "We’re bursting at the seams."

Background: Founded in 2011 by Mark Overbay and his wife Megan, Big Spoon has gone from a staple at the Carrboro Farmers' Market to a shelf item at grocery stores across the country.

What's happening: Big Spoon needs a larger space to grow, but by the time the company got its business loan and started construction, its costs nearly doubled.

  • Transportation costs have skyrocketed thanks to rising gas prices and costs for ingredients, like almonds, are up 14% in the past 12 months, Mark Overbay said.
  • On top of that, construction costs for everything from door knobs and hinges to drywall and nails have gone up.
  • In response, the business has had to raise prices on a few of its premium products, but for the most part is absorbing the cost increases.

The company has turned to crowdfunding to help it fill in some of the gap, with hopes to raise $50,000 through the site Indiegogo.

  • "We remain very focused on being an independently-owned company, so we've never taken any kind of outside investment," Mark Overbay said.
  • By instead crowdsourcing funds, he hopes to avoid compromising company values — like paying workers a living wage and using quality ingredients.

The big picture: Small businesses across the U.S. are being hit by rising prices, from labor to materials. It’s making lives more complicated for entrepreneurs and changing business plans.


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