ROCKVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia is known for its peanuts, but one local man is also putting it on the map for its peanut butter.
Andrew Broocker started Reginald’s Homemade a little more than five years ago.
“We are a local, all-natural, salt-free, preservative-free, peanut butter and cashew butter company,” he said.
Broocker, who grew up in the West End, started Reginald’s Homemade in his parents’ house with four small processors and an oven.
“I became addicted to natural, chunky, saltless peanut butter. I put it on everything,” he said. “Out of utter laziness, I wondered what it would taste like if I put what I was going to put it on, in the processor.”
Today, he’s upgraded to a production facility in Rockville. That’s where he and his small team — including his mom — fill, lid, label and seal more than a dozen creative flavors. Everything from Agave Habanero and Bourbon Pecan, to Coconut Sour Cherry and and Double Chocolate Chunk.
And people are buying. The peanut and cashew butters are sold in stores and online. Broocker says his product is in all 50 states.
The key ingredient? Virginia peanuts.
“I mean, I’m biased, but it’s the perfect peanut,” he said. “It’s all very, very fresh.”
Once a week, Broocker heads to Wakefield to pick them up and bring them back to his facility to roast and turn into a spread.
“I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel at all, but peanut butter in its basic form should taste like peanuts.”
And he says people who taste his creations understand.
“I still remember the first little market I ever did,” he said. “A little boy was with his mom and tasted either the creamy or the crunchy and he looked at her and he was like, ‘This tastes like peanuts.’ And I was like, ‘You get it. That’s exactly it.'”
Broocker says he couldn’t do what he does in any other state.
“My biggest resource is still the Virginia Department of Agriculture. They’ve been tremendous from day one,” he said. “We’re part of Virginia’s Finest.”
The Virginia’s Finest program was set up to enhance the economic opportunities of the state’s food companies, agriculture producers and processors. A red and blue check mark, like the ones on every Reginald’s Homemade jar, let’s consumers know “they are purchasing top quality Virginia-produced and processed products,” according to the site.
Broocker says there’s no one way to eat his peanut butters.
“There are people who just go right at it with a spoon,” he said. “I put it on everything, so I’m the wrong person to ask. You name it, peanut butter can go on it.”
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