December 10, 2023

Indiana soccer moms run successful nut butter business

USDA helps duo grow business

Carol Podolak and Joy Thompkins poke their head out a window of a van that they use for their BNutty business. As the United Nations celebrated the International Day of Rural Women on Oct. 15, these two moms embody the impact rural women are making both in the United States and around the world.

PORTAGE, Ind. — Carol Podolak and Joy Thompkins started out selling homemade peanut butter as a team fundraiser idea for soccer moms in rural Indiana.

Seven years later, their business has a name — BNutty — and fans across the globe.

The company sells gourmet nut butters ranging in flavors from Totally Toffee to Cinnamon Sugar Cookie. The butters are sold in grocery stores around the world.

The duo worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service to grow their business.

“We met our first large export client at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Indiana,” Podolak said. “Our booth was funded by Food-Export Midwest and FAS.”

The women use FAS Market Access Program funds to advertise and export their peanut butters through Food Export-Midwest.

“FAS and Food Export-Midwest helped us with grant money, trade show booths and marketing materials, which translated into being able to work with other countries — it made a big difference for us when we were first learning about exporting,” Podolak said.

BNutty’s five-year goal is focused on growing its bases in current export markets and creating new partnerships.

Since BNutty’s first export in 2021, the peanut butter is on the shelves of 13 countries. Its primary export markets are in Asia and the Middle East.

It is currently growing its market in the Caribbean and expanding retail opportunities in South America and the European Union.

BNutty has celebrated several successes, including:

• Award for Small-Business Association Indiana Exporter of the Year.

• Listed on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies in the country.

• One of EXIM Bank’s exporters of the year.

Learn more about the company at

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor