Jelly is the standard American pairing with peanut butter. Madison’s Om Boys – Adrian Reif and Matt D’Amour – pair their peanut butter, Yumbutter, with other flavors, but maybe more importantly, with a side of idealism.
As you talk with Reif and D’Amour, the concept of “great food” is never far from the idea of “system change.”
Reif’s business card designates him as “Head Yumologist,” while D’Amour is “Chief Wellness Carrier.” They call their foods “potions” instead of products, “because there’s more in this jar than just peanut butter,” says D’Amour.
He doesn’t just mean the (organic) dark chocolate that goes into the Dark Chocolate D’Lishe or the (locally raised and produced) bacon and (fair trade) bananas that make up the blend known as Ethical Elvis. This might sound like a heavy load to carry for a product – er, potion – best known as a breakfast topping for toast, but for these two, in that jar is a new way of running a business.
Along with the five kinds of Yumbutters, they also make four varieties of Food Your Body Likes sprouted cereals based on buckwheat groats and coupled with such ingredients as quinoa, amaranth, aronia berries, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, local raw honey and maple syrup. In late summer, they use local apples; in fall, butternut squash from Highland, Wis.; in winter, Wisconsin cranberries.
“One revolutionary thing that’s been our core since the beginning is our responsibility to make the most nutritious food for the customer,” Reif says. “It’s not a right to be a food manufacturer; it’s a privilege. We have to look out for other people, and we don’t want to give them unhealthy foods.” He’d like to help people “take back control of what they’re eating.”
Reif started his college career in pre-med at Vanderbilt, until he hit organic chemistry. He ended up majoring in psychology; ultimately he decided he wanted to combine entrepreneurship with sustainability and his sense of compassion.