If you frequent any of the three coffee shops on campus, you may have noticed a new sign advertising for Walker Brothers’ Spreads and Butters. There are two available flavors: coconut almond and cinnamon cashew. Walker Brothers’ Spreads and Butters is the creation of senior Luke Walker, who told me the inspiration for his spreads came partially from a lifelong love of nut butters, and partially from being bored at home. He discovered a long-forgotten food processor in his kitchen and decided to try his hand at making his own peanut butter. What he discovered was that these nut butters tasted fresh and turned out to be cheaper than purchasing pre-made batches at the store.
To make the nut butters sold at Conn, which are sold in single-portion sized containers, Walker uses the kitchen at the Walk-in Coffee Closet. He roasts whatever nuts he plans to use for the batch in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes (being sure to check them consistently – If he burns the nuts, he says, the batch is over before it even got started). Roasting them brings out the flavor more thoroughly, but it still takes a while to process them. Coconut oil aids in smoothness (even the cinnamon cashew flavor has a bit of coconut oil in it). Besides shredded coconut and cinnamon for their respective batches, Walker uses just a bit of either agave nectar or even honey, as well as sea salt. Together, just a little bit of each is all is takes to make the spreads incredibly sweet.
With positive feedback from the Conn community, Walker has begun to think about the future of Walker Brothers’ Spread and Butters. He hopes to sell the product from local stores and farmers’ markets in the Boston area, and to continue expanding the products being made. As an entrepreneur, Walker shared a piece of advice he had been given by other entrepreneurs: if you have an idea, do it. “Especially on a college campus,” he added, “where you can get feedback for free.” He said to be bold and willing to reach out to people; they’re always more interested than you expect them to be, he said, and more than eager to help you grow your business and idea.
When asked about his favorite way to eat nut butters, Walker laughed — he prefers to eat them by the spoonful, but suggests pretzels, oatmeal, bananas, apples, and toast. If you want more of a meal than a snack, try spreading it over a bagel. With new batches being made every week, there is plenty to go around at the coffee shops.