PB Love Company • DENVER, CO
Meet Mario Esparza, owner and “head nut” of PB Love Company. Where did this entrepreneur begin? Mario was raised in Amarillo, Texas with his brother, two sisters and parents. He was raised in a somewhat traditional, large Mexican-American family. By age 19, Mario hit his heaviest weight and decided it was time to make fundamental changes in his eating and exercise habits. “Real food… I didn’t know what it was,” Mario explains. It was during this pivotal transition in his health that Mario crafted his first nut butters, and he hasn’t stopped since.
PB Love Company
PB Love Company produces small batch premium nut butters (both almond and peanut) with the purpose of feeding people “real” delicious food and spreading smiles. It’s been 5 years since the company was officially launched and his success speaks for itself.
PB Love Company currently produces five nut butters, three peanut flavors and two almond flavors. Among these products, his two most popular, salty peanut and cinnamon almond, have received Good Food Awards in San Francisco, where they were praised on both taste and social responsibility.
Why Nut Butter?
While Mario was losing weight and gaining health, he began creating his own nut butters. He soon realized they tasted better and they were far more nutritious. Despite PB Love Company’s five years of business, Mario has been crafting these delicious nut butters for well over a decade.
From Idea to Action
How did Mario’s nut butters go from his own personal treat to a Colorado snack phenomenon. To explain this part of his story, he explains his move from Texas to Colorado, when Mario began working at the ever-popular Snooze AM Eatery. He was amazed by the food they were serving and their sustainability program which, at the time, was unheard of in the restaurant industry. While working at Snooze it was ingrained in him that feeding people was about providing an experience. He has never forgotten this message.
So, how did he go from working at Snooze to selling nut butters? Mario decided he wanted to go back to college to be involved in curriculum development for the food science programs. Not long after he was back in classes, he realized he needed additional income to pay for his education. After spending weeks of brainstorming what he could sell on the internet to make more money, Mario’s friend sparked the idea to share his nut butters. After she tasted one for the first time and exclaimed, “Holy Shit, Mario, you should sell this. I would buy this,” Mario took off with the idea and hasn’t looked back.
“Demand isn’t an issue for us,” Mario explains. The PB Love community has taken over many parts of Colorado. As Mario and his business partner continue to run the operation they are contemplating an expansion into a production plant of their own to increase production capability. Each year since the company’s launch, they have grown an average of 49%. In addition to his desire for production expansion, Mario wants to continue to focus on spreading more PB Love.