“I believe your business should be an extension of the principles by which you run your life,” says Northern Virginia mother and founder of OmMade Peanut Butter Radhika Murari.
When Murari’s son would come home from school, she need a snack that would satisfy his appetite as well as her desire for her child to have natural food. She started to make homemade peanut butter for her son and his friends. One day a friend told her that she was ‘sitting on a gold mine’, and that she ought to go into business selling the jars. From there, OmMade Peanut butter was born.
“I always say that this business isn’t just mine, it’s all the people who support me. So my mom came up with the name. Om is a Hindu symbol for creation, so it was a good play on words. And it evokes a sense of holistic wellness.”
Her journey to create a peanut butter that tasted good and didn’t contain oil began at Costco, with Virginia Peanuts.
“I tried different peanuts, like Georgia peanuts, which were very inexpensive and more readily available. But what I found out was that nothing else had a flavor as good as Virginia peanuts. That’s why the peanut butter can be so healthy because the peanuts are already good and don’t need oil.”
When she started selling the peanut butter, she developed several different flavors, like Chai Nirvana, Chocolate Delight, Mint Magic, Vibrant Turmeric, and Mint Magic. The most popular flavor, Murari says, is Coconut Bliss.
“My friend told me I should make a coconut peanut butter, but I didn’t think it would work. She kept at it though, so finally, I got organic coconut, came up with Coconut Bliss, and it’s my best selling peanut butter. So I owe my name to my mother and my best selling peanut butter to my friend!”
Running the business during the pandemic has been very difficult, and in the initial months, she says business ‘cratered’. But then help came in the form of a grant from the state and county government.
“The state of Virginia gives grants to producers who use Virginia agricultural products. So they reached out to me, did their due diligence, and through them and Fairfax County they decided that my business was one that helped the community.”
Using the funds from the grant, she plans to open a storefront where she could not only sell her peanut butter but provide a place for other small business owners to market their goods.
“I have gotten so much help from my community. I want a storefront where other small businesses can have pop-ups so they can display market-ready products and it can become a hub of high-quality products that may not otherwise get exposure.”