Local Company Steem Is Making Caffeinated Peanut Butter
Chris Pettazzoni was tired of drowning his hangovers in Chinese buffets and greasy, fatty foods. So with no background in food, the finance professional took to his kitchen and started experimenting with an out-of-the-box idea: combining peanut butter and caffeine.
“The start of the conversation was creating a hangover cure,” he says. “Then it sort of just went into, ‘Hey, I love caffeine and I love peanut butter—why wouldn’t those two work well together?'”
The two did work well together, enough so that Pettazzoni’s homemade hangover cure is now the basis for a Greenfield-based company called Steem, which has been in business since spring of last year. Not just for rough mornings, Pettazzoni says Steem’s caffeinated peanut butter—two tablespoons of which contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee—can also be used as a fitness supplement, or just a replacement for your daily cup of joe. “It’s like baking soda; you can use it for a million different things you wouldn’t think of,” he says.
Steem’s peanut butter, which sells for $4.99 a jar online and at a handful of New England retailers, contains only peanuts, salt, peanut oil, and agave nectar; its caffeine is extracted from green coffee pods, ground into powder, and mixed into the final product. Pettazzoni says it works so well as a pick-me-up because the lipids and protein in peanut butter bond with caffeine, allowing for a lasting and healthy dose of energy that’s more effective than drinking multiple cups of coffee. “Everything is digested more slowly, and it gives you this longer stream of energy,” he says.
And don’t worry, peanut butter addicts—Pettazzoni promises Steem tastes just like the products you’re used to. “That’s the first thing that people need to see for themselves,” he says, “that it tastes like what they want it to taste like: actual peanut butter.”