Alifelong peanut butter lover and avid cook, Big Spoon Roasters founder Mark Overbay received his first lesson in handcrafted nut butter in 1999-2000 while living in a rural farming community in Zimbabwe, where he was a Peace Corps Volunteer. After harvest, peanuts were roasted over an open fire and pounded into a paste by hand. Some families added touches of sea salt, local honey, and fresh coconut oil to complement the flavor and smooth out the texture. The deliciously fragrant, mouthwatering peanut butter was a revelation. In 2005, after a few years in Washington, DC, working as a health and nutrition-focused writer for organizations including the American Diabetes Association, United Fresh Produce Association, and The Advisory Board, Mark moved to Durham, NC to join the staff of Counter Culture Coffee. During a particularly hungry moment in the fall of 2010, Mark was inspired to recreate the unforgettable peanut butter experience he had in Africa and started roasting nuts and milling them into fresh nut butters in his home kitchen. Soon, he was sharing these handmade nut butters with friends and family, and within a few months, Big Spoon Roasters was officially born at a cycling race in January 2011. To this day, Big Spoon remains the only maker of handcrafted, made-to-order nut butter in the world. The name “Big Spoon” is a tribute to Mark’s dad, Gary. One day, a six-year-old Mark walked into the family kitchen to find his dad having one of his favorite snacks – a big spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar. Mark blurted out, “big spoon!” and the nickname stuck. Mark lives in Durham with his wife and partner, Megan, and their two Vizslas, Rioja and Grüner.