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Peanut butter man spreads the word
By CAROLYN VEEN
Toasting peanuts: Pic Picot spreading the word about his sugar-free peanut butter product to the people of Hawke's
When Pic Picot started roasting
nuts in a converted concrete mixer
in his Nelson garage, he never
imagined his Pic s Really Good
Peanut Butter would become so
popular -- nor that he would be
touring around selling the idea
from a toaster-shaped caravan.
I started off roasting a 10
kilogram bag of peanuts in the
garage and grinding them in the
kitchen . . . and when my 12-year-
old son said it tasted yummy with-
out any added sugar I knew I had
a winner, he said.
He was in Napier and Hastings
last week, talking about his prod-
Not long after the inauspicious
start, Mr Picot was processing his
nuts in a more appropriate way.
I swapped the kitchen for a
dark and gloomy corner of a disu-
sed freezing works in Nelson. Peo-
ple kept buying my peanut butter
and before we knew where we
were, we were sending it off by the
pallet load and knew we d need to
Today, with 11 staff, and a
turnover of $3 million, we are hap-
pily settled in a brand-new build-
ing with shiny white walls, a nut-
store the size of Te Papa and hand
basins with taps that turn on
when you wave your hands under-
neath them, said Mr Picot, a for-
mer keeler instructor.
Getting into peanut butter was
an epiphany, albeit not acted upon
In 1992 I was sailing in the
Bay of Islands and rowed across to
an American yacht for breakfast.
Brad [the skipper] made some
toast, asked what I d like on it,
and pulled an old jar of American
peanut butter out of a locker. On
the label it said in big letters
Health Style .
Now I, like any strapping Kiwi
lad, knew peanut butter was
pretty damned healthy already, so
I was intrigued to know what
they d done to it to make it better.
What these clever Yanks had done
was to reduce the amount of
sugar. I was stunned . . . in those
days no Kiwi peanut butter con-
tained sugar, but I could see the
writing on the wall. To anyone
who would listen I said Mark my
words, the day will come when
peanut butter in New Zealand will
be loaded with sugar .
In 2007, when Mr Picot dis-
covered sugar in his favourite pea-
nut butter, he switched brands
and said it wasn t long before
they were all at it . He believed
peanut butter only needed sugar if
the nuts were rancid because it
would disguise the bad taste.
Pic s Peanut Butter is now on
sale in every supermarket in New
Zealand and in over 200 gourmet
and specialty stores in Queens-
land and New South Wales. In
2010 it won Cuisine Magazine s
Artisan Food of the Year Award.
Last year Pic launched the Big
Toaster Tour of New Zealand in
partnership with Vogel s bread
and Dualit toasters. The Big Toas-
ter is a gleaming silver Airstream
food caravan with two enormous
slices of toast protruding from its
roof. Towed by a classic Holden
ute (which he purchased in
Napier) with an on-board gener-
ator, it can produce hot toast and
peanut butter within minutes of
We also serve coffee for a $2
donation to the Blind Foun-
dation, said Pic, who is partially
sighted and travels with a driver.
After the New Zealand tour,
we re planning to ship The Big
Toaster to Australia, the source of
our peanuts, and show the Aus-
sies just how good their nuts can
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