When Troy Karan was diagnosed with Stargardt Disease, a degenerative eye condition, he had to stop working. He encouraged his wife, Sheri, to start selling the nut butter spreads she had been making for fun. Sheri, in turn, wanted to bring attention to visual rehabilitation programs.
And so Blind Spot Nutbutters was born. These artisan nut butter spreads are sold at specialty food stores and farm markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic, as well as online.
The Karans are self-proclaimed peanut-butter addicts, and have developed recipes that use sustainable, non-genetically modified, and organic ingredients whenever possible.
Blind Spot Nutbutters has grown from a commercial kitchen shared space to a home garage kitchen to a dedicated manufacturing space. With additional space and manufacturing capacity, Karan has been able to add several new products to her lineup.
As Blind Spot Nutbutters grows, it has been able to support several community organizations, including visual rehabilitation organization Forsight Vision and a local bike team. “If I wasn’t successful, I couldn’t do any of that,” Karan says. Blind Spot Nutbutters received the 2015 SCORE Awards Outstanding Community-Impact Small Business Award.
After renting space in a commercial kitchen, SCORE mentors helped Karan navigate local ordinances to get permission to turn her garage into a workshop. “Being able to have dedicated space was essential to the business growth and the ideas that the mentors gave me helped make that a reality,” she says. She later moved out of her home kitchen into a manufacturing space, and worked with SCORE mentors to plan for the next expansion of her business.
“She’s always just an email away,” Karan says of mentor Kellie Boysen of the Susquehanna SCORE chapter. “She’s supportive of our product line and has helped me be more confident in my business.”