Spread has been on my radar for a few years – their farm-to-table vegetarian restaurant, catering/events and gourmet nut butters have gotten a lot of media coverage, and have a reputation for being the best in the world of slow and organic food – with a high-end clientele and private membership club.
I never got a chance to stop by their San Diego flagship location, so when their popup shop opened on Melrose I made sure to be there.
I was greeted by chef and owner Andrew Schiff, who started Spread with his wife, Robin. Once law school students, they deviated from that path and the start of their business went something like this…
…okay not exactly. You have to let Andrew tell you the whole story; he is one highly energetic and entertaining fellow. I went in the store expecting to pop out 5 minutes later with a couple jars in hand. Instead, I was taken by the hand and seated outdoors….
…to a tasting pavilion….
…called nut butter heaven
I ate over 20 (yes, that’s TWENTY) samples that looked like this…
…pausing once for this gastronomically perfect mini pb cup
Spread has hundreds of flavors, numbered in the order they were created. All of them are seasonal, organic, and made in small batches to ensure quality and commitment to sustainability.
My favorites were the White Chocolate Pretzel (featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate“), White Chocolate Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, Seasonal Cinnamon Gourmet (one of the last six in stock!)
Obviously, I liked all the dessert-ish flavors the best, but I also really dug the Golden Raisin Curry, which would be GREAT as a dip for satay.
If you just want simplicity, there’s #1 – just peanuts – no salt or sugar. Like everything else, it was amazing – perfectly flavored, not thick or chewy.
Inside the store, their 4 oz. jars sell for $10 and up…
…some may be slightly more expensive, containing unique ingredients like edible gold and silver. And other “stuff”…
I was sent home with four…
…including one for Julius!!!
Agave Lavender Bacon. Andrew threw in a feeding spoon too!
I can’t make any promises that I won’t be digging into the dog’s stash…neither can Abe – it’s totally fit for human consumption, and they use veggie bacon!
You can visit Spread’s retail shop at 7350 Melrose through February (they also plan to pop up in Austin, Miami, and NYC) or buy their products online – they ship anywhere and also do personalized gifts. Follow them on twitter too for special offers, including freebies!