Monday, March 31, 2014

Justin Gold | Owner & Founder of Justin’s

Written by with Bolder Young Professionals

Peanut butter and chocolate is probably the ultimate match made in heaven. The only way the combo could get any better would be to put it in a spread, or a handy to-go pack that won’t get smushed out of shape in a pocket or backpack.  Justin Gold, Boulder entrepreneur and owner of Justin’s, has done just that, with his variety of nut butters (in convenient squeeze packs) and candies. Paired with a commitment to using all-natural, organic, GMO-free ingredients, Gold has found overwhelming success in his business producing the nut butters and peanut butter cups, particularly given his unconventional background.


“I grew up in a small rural town in Western Pennsylvania with dreams of becoming an environmental lawyer until I interned at a law firm in college and, well, changed my mind.”
Gold’s grandfather started one of the first “health food” stores in western Pennsylvania in the 1960’s, and Gold credits him for giving him an early introduction to natural products. In college, Gold worked towards earning a degree in environmental studies, helping to organize field trips to hazardous waste facilities, landfills, meat packing plants and dairy farms. These factors, coupled with his vegetarian lifestyle and his upbringing, helped to solidify Gold’s dedication to sustainability and using organic and natural products for what would become Justin’s.
“Imagine telling your parents that you are giving up a law degree for the opportunity to make peanut butter… They were totally supportive and that has made all the difference.”
Gold moved to Boulder shortly after finishing college where he worked as a waiter and at an outdoor store for several years until his company was stable enough to launch.
The inspiration for Justin’s was born from Gold’s vegetarian lifestyle and eating lots of peanut and almond butter during his many outdoor adventures. Originally starting with jars sold at farmers markets, it was Gold’s squeeze pack that really helped launch his company nationally.
“I was on a long mountain bike and was sick of my bars and gels and just wanted a packet of peanut or almond butter. The squeeze pack innovation instantly put our company on the map with national distribution in Whole Foods Market and Starbucks.”


Today, 11 years after Justin’s was founded, the nut butters are sold nationwide in a variety of flavors and styles, from classic peanut butter to chocolate hazelnut butter and maple almond butter (Gold’s favorite).  It was a natural progression then, to break into producing organic peanut butter cups. Gold capitalized on the classic combo of chocolate and peanut butter, much like the ever famous Reese’s, but with an all-natural, organic spin to them in both milk and dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
As any business owner will tell you, Gold is simultaneously challenged and rewarded by the things that come each day, pulling him in a hundred different directions all at once. His day-to-day work is rarely ever the same, but he tries to keep things consistent, as best he can.
“My day always starts with a workout then getting to the office first so I can rock out to music while I catch up on emails.  The rest of the day blows by with meetings, projects, etc.”
Gold strives to stay true to Justin’s mission, using quality, organic and all-natural ingredients that come together in delicious, vegan, gluten- and GMO-free products.
Looking to the future, Gold hopes to continue to meet the growing demand from his increasing fan base, keeping them stocked with delicious Justin’s products.
“It sounds crazy, but my big milestone is to have us in a position where we have plenty of inventories to sell to our customer who are constantly out of stock. We’ve never had the opportunity to catch up with customer demand.”
As for his participation with the Boulder community and Bolder Young Professionals, Gold encourages all budding entrepreneurs and young professionals to follow their passions and start somewhere.
“Our economic future lies within the courage and curiosity of the young minds. I’m thrilled to be involved with organizations that support and encourage intellectual curiosity at young ages”.