Finding My Bliss
Written by: Katherine Chang, Rising Sophomore at Catlin Gabel School
Vendor: Bliss Nut Butters
Before my time with Bliss Nut Butters, my previous knowledge and experience with nut butters could be summed up in one word: Jif. I had never been a die-hard fan of peanut butter like some people I knew; I would choose chocolate over Reese's, and I never got ice cream with any sort of peanut butter in it. So walking into my first market working with a nut butter company, I wasn't sure what to expect. But as I tasted my first spoonful of Peanut Butter Bliss, I knew I had stepped into a completely different world of nut butters.
Bliss Nut Butters is a locally-sourced company started by Danielle Bliss, who works alongside with her husband. As a triathlete, she often searched for good fuel to get her through grueling distance events, thus resulting in the delicious creation of her nut butters. Made with peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts, each butter is made with sea salt and sweetened with honey; a recipe so simple yet it never fails to amaze new and returning customers.
As I continue to work with Bliss at Moreland Farmers Market, I’ve begun to notice a variety of customers that show up to our stand. I recognize the regulars, who show up every week and eye our stand from across the market, eventually giving in to the free samples at the front of the booth. These are the ones who like to converse about our butters to us and sometimes to other customers. Just the other day a woman was standing in front of our booth, gorging on samples as we hurriedly refilled them as they disappeared. She would ask the customers, “Have you tried their butters? Oh they’re fantastic, you have to try this one it’s my favorite.”
Not only was this customer a walking advertisement for our products, but she also represented a lot of techniques I’ve learned while working at the market. At first, conversing with customers felt strange and I felt like I was intruding on their quiet inspection of our nut butters, but as I got more comfortable with being on the flip side of the sample table, I’ve enjoyed making conversation with just about everyone who comes along. Through this exchange, they get to learn more about the nut butters, and I get to do something other than awkwardly watch and wait as they make their decision to purchase or walk away.
Many customers walk away with multiple samples but no jars. This is slightly frustrating, but quite understandable, as I am also guilty of taking more samples than necessary “for my mom”. I’ve been able to pick up who is simply there to browse, and who is there to stock up their pantry. With this process comes a lot of rejection, because no matter how good our butters are, some people just aren’t interested. I’ve learned not to take it (that) personally, and to treat every customer like they are buying, in case they change their minds.
Although all of the nut butters are worth giving many tries, there is one in particular that holds a special place in my heart for its sweet and salty goodness. This is the Cinnamon Chia Seed Peanut Butter Bliss. The ingredients are all in the name, but the cinnamon is easily the star of the show. Not too overpowering, but the taste of the spice hits you instantly. As you chew on the grounded peanuts mixed in with chia seeds, you get a hint of sea salt that brings the whole sweet/salty combo together. Truly a masterpiece in itself, this peanut butter is like no other, and it’s also a crowd favorite as well as a bestseller.