PORTLAND - Two University of Oregon students are on the verge of a very successful business by thinking outside the jar with their Wild Squirrel Nut Butter snack.
Erika Welsh and Keeley Tillotson of Tualatin met in high school and were roommates in college.
They ran out of peanut butter one rainy night in their dorm room. Not wanting to venture out, they decided to make their own.
They began to experiment with adding chocolate, coconut, pretzels and whatever looked good that was in the cupboard.
Friends got wind of the 'Peanut Girls' on campus and wanted their own jars of creamy goodness.
After nearly a year of making and producing jars for family and friends something had to give.
"We were poor college students,we ultimately decided we should charge for our product," Keeley said.
The two friends formed a compan, 'Wild Squirrel Nut Butter,' named after Erika's childhood nickname.
Bloggers started writing about the peanut butter and orders started coming in.
"Through that, a writer for Oprah found us, and was excited about our product. We've shipped our product to almost every single state. We're at 49 states. Alaska needs to get on it," said Keeley.
Articles in 'O' in April and May helped bring in more sales. The nutter butters also got a write up in 'Glamour,' after Keeley won a scholarship sponsored by the magazine.
The two found a company in California to produce the products in much larger quantities.
'Wild Squirrel Nut Butter' is sold in New Seasons and Market of Choice. Courtesy KGW.com
Five flavors are available. Two are made from almond butter, for those with peanut allergies.