RAPID CITY, S.D. — According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Annual Business Survey, almost 15 percent of South Dakota businesses are women-owned. Nerdy Nuts is a women-led business that originated in Rapid City.
Years ago, Erika Peterson went nuts over making fresh ground peanut butter.
That led her and her husband to spread their love and buy a refurbished peanut grinder to make their own product.
Erika was pregnant with her second child and wanted to re-enter the workforce.
Erika Peterson, co-founder of Nerdy Nuts, says, “I was just so determined to prove that women could be working mothers and be amazing at their jobs and that shouldn’t be a drawback – I’m going to fuel this passion and frustration into something great.”
What started as gifts for family and friends quickly grew into a multi-million dollar business.
They began creating specialty favors – starting with spreads, then moving into more indulgent creations, like rocky road, white chocolate, and toffee peanut butter cup.
The official business was established in 2018.
The business boomed after they came out with the presidential peanut butter line in 2019. They went from making small batches to a large-scale production.
Erika says the emphasis on social media and following her intuition was the catalyst for success, saying, “We know that indulgences and treats are what our you know community of people want. There are times when you need to adjust and you need to listen but then there are times when you just need to trust your gut instinct.”
Even through a pandemic, they continued to increase sales.
“It was either flight or flight – it’s time to adapt, it’s time to figure out what we are doing to do to stay alive – to stay present,” says Erika.
With a thriving business, Erika advises other women to keep their passion and don’t let others dampen your dream.
Erika adds, “Don’t let people tell you you can’t do something – you know if I would have allowed those people to get to me, and tell me you know you’re right I can’t do that, I can’t do that – like how am I suppose to compete with these 100-year-old brands, I wouldn’t have what I have.”
Erika has since expanded her business into other states and sells her nut butters across the USA.
Nerdy Nuts comes out with new flavors on Sundays and also refills their stock. This month they have a breakfast line coming out.
Click here for more on Nerdy Nuts or to order.