Retreat-ing Yourself is just as much about making you happy & fulfilled as it is about keeping you healthy.
And you know what can make you happy? Peanut butter.
Hence why we should ALL be thanking Bruce 'Pic' Picot, a New Zealander who simply wanted to create a delicious peanut butter without all the sugar of many mainstream peanut butters, but with all the flavour!
So he created it himself!
And….drumroll….along came Pic’s Peanut Butter. A blend of 100% perfectly roasted Australian peanuts, a little salt, and nothing else. Ask anyone who has tried it and they are likely to say they haven’t looked back…
We had a chat to Pic, and if you’re not a convert after reading Pic’s pearls of wisdom we’ll have to assume it's only because you've got a peanut allergy…!
Tell us a bit about the people behind your company:
I’ve always worked for myself and majority of the time - by myself.
Going a bit blind pushed me to take a step back and install trust in my team, which seemed frightening at first but quickly taught me that people are SO capable.
We have over 45 people in our building now, each of us with different responsibilities, backgrounds and cultures - yet we all share this burning passion for our product and you, our customers.
We have such a good time here.
What inspired you to start your company and when did you start it:
A few decades ago I was on a mates yacht puttering around the Abel Tasman burning toast when he pulled out a jar of American ‘Health Style’ peanut butter. I was bewildered, peanut butter is already healthy - but alas “Reduced Sugar Added” was stamped on underneath. I cursed the day our national brands would follow suit and sure enough a few years later - they did.
At the time I was edging on retirement, with nothing better to do than ring the hotline on the back of the jar to complain.. “That's the way people like it sir”..
Well I didn't, so I started making my own.
I made my first jar of peanut butter around 11 years ago, I roasted the nuts in the microwave and broke three cheap blenders in the process. It was delicious, my son liked it and his friends too.
So I bought a better blender, and started using the oven instead.
How do you make your product:
We get a magnificent peanut variety from Australia called “Hi Oleic” which we ever so delicately roast before putting through a grinder. We add nothing but a smidge of salt.
The jars still warm when the lid gets put on.
It’s much more fun to see with your own eyes, come visit!
What’s your favourite product in your range:
I love everything we make, and I wouldn’t put my name on a label of something I didn’t.
BUT it has to be our Crunchy - with salt.
A close second is this boysenberry jelly we just started selling - Glenn and Marie from down the road grow the best berries in the world. It's so fantastic being able to work with other local companies producing something that’s truly Nelson.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy your product(s):
A few slices of ‘Very thin’ vogels, slightly singed in the toaster.
Lathered in a generous sweep of crunchy, a sprinkle of salt and a crack of pepper.
Sliced tomato on top, just divine.
What gets you out of bed in the morning:
The opportunity and privilege to work towards what I’m passionate about and create change in our staff, their families, our visitors and our friends. Every encounter I have during the day is either important to me, or them.
Alas peanut butter on toast does the trick too.
If you weren’t running your company, what would you be doing:
Rather than the peanut butter guy, I’d just be an old guy. Which sounds terribly boring to me.
What is your favourite way of winding down and taking time out:
I have a section of land with a few caravans by the Abel Tasman right next to my ex wifes bach where I spend most weekends.
My daughter flies home from New York every Christmas with her partner and my grandaughter, my step-daughter flies down from Wellington with her children, and my son will drive over the hill with his partner and her child too.
I’ll be surrounded by my family and friends with great food and really good drink this holidays - it’s my favourite place to be.
Here at Retreat yourself, we LOVE to dream BIG - what is your vision for your company:
To be the world’s most LOVED peanut butter company. To be forever innovative, welcoming and involved.
We’re just putting the final touches on our new mega factory/store.
I want people to visit, meet our wonderful staff and know their value and importance in our successes. All of us here have such a nice life, we live in the most gorgeous city and really enjoy coming to work - and it’s all because of you lot. We owe a lot to you, and I want you to believe it.
For anyone out there wanting to start their own business, what would your biggest piece of advice be?
When you get an idea and decide to do something about it you’ve got yourself a project.
If it’s something new, whether it’s new to the world or just new to you, you’ll have to deal with old man risk.
Old man risk will hover around your project, begging to make you a nice cup of tea, listen to all your troubles and he will take the blame for whatever goes wrong.
He is not your friend. The success of your project demands that you keep him outside. Patrol your project constantly, and seal up any cracks that risk might sneak through.
It’s tougher than it sounds. If things don’t work out you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
It’s much safer to leave a crack or two.
And lastly, what does a fulfilled life look like to you:
I’ve always felt fulfilled, sure the success of this business is only recent - but I’ve always been unapologetically passionate about all I’ve done, and if I can bring passion to a peanut butter company - you can bring passion into anything that’s important to you.
If having my peanut butter in the morning makes your day just that tiny bit better - I’m chuffed. Over the moon. But if I can encourage others to chase their passions, and make other peoples days that tiny bit better; we’ve all made the world a better place.
A delicious jar of Pic's Crunchy Peanut Butter can be found in each of our Autumn Boxes, and you can read more about the Pic's story on their website: www.picspeanutbutter.com.