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Innovation & Job News

Buy one, give one peanut butter company spreads to Anacostia

Good Spread, a company that makes individually portioned peanut butter spread, recently opened a second business location in Anacostia. Each package of Good Spread sold provides a package of therapeutic food for a child suffering from malnutrition. Though founded in Nashville, the second location will provide Good Spread's cofounder Alex Cox the chance to spread the word beyond the South, where the peanut butter is already making a stir.
"I've always had my eye on Southeast," Cox says. "There are certain places in D.C. that are gems that need a little love—places like Anacostia and Congress Heights." Good Spread is operating out of The Hive 2.0.
Cox cofounded Good Spread while on a post-collegiate mission to spread the word about severe acute malnutrition and ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). Traditionally, Cox explains, malnourished populations received powdered milk, which they were required to mix with water to consume. "There isn't enough clean water," he says. "In the late 1990s, therapeutic food, which is a milk formula mixed with peanut butter [and multivitamins], was developed," and the success rate of treating acute malnourishment in children has climbed.
Cox and Mark Slagle, Good Spread's cofounder, drove around the country explaining about the importance of RUTF. "We found that people who were getting involved and donating money wanted a take-away—they wanted a packet [of RUTF] to hold in their hands," he explains. Good Spread is the resulting "tangible U.S. consumer product" Cox and Slagle developed, first as a giveaway in place of a packet of RUTF. Now, they sell the packets ($10 for a box of 15 packets) online, and for every packet that they sell, they can provide one packet of RUTF to a malnourished child.

Cox says one of Good Spread's largest orders came from a church in Nashville. "They ordered 15,000 packets for an after-school program," he explains. "It was for 7,000 inner-city kids who didn't have healthy after-school snacks. So it was a double give—it helped locally and fed globally." 
Since Good Spread falls between the lines of nonprofit and for-profit business, Cox says that two strategic partnerships have helped make the company successful. MANA, a RUTF production company, lets Good Spread manufacture its product in their factory in southern Georgia, and World Vision delivers the RUTF to the malnourished kids at no charge to Good Spread. "Good Spread wouldn't be possible without those partnerships," Cox says.
Good Spread is currently available online. Cox is actively looking for local shop owners who would be interested in carrying the product on their shelves. "Harris Teeter will be putting Good Spread into all its stores in January," Cox says. "I would rather find local places who want to carry it first."
Elevation DC readers can get 30 percent off a ten pack of Good Spread using the code "elevation."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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