SBA names BNutty Indiana Exporter of the Year • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

SBA names BNutty Indiana Exporter of the Year

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BNutty founder Joy Thompkins, right, and business partner Carol Podolak display specialty gourmet peanut butter gift baskets that include their products. (Photo by Philip Potempa)

The U.S. Small Business Administration will celebrate the Region's own BNutty during National Small Business Week from April 30 through May 6.

Carol Podolak and Joy Thompkins, creators of Portage-based BNutty gourmet peanut butter flavors, will be honored with the SBA Indiana Exporter of the Year award.

The business that initially launched as a fundraising vehicle for youth soccer has turned into a global enterprise.

Potolak said in a 2021 story that overseas distributors were intrigued by bNutty’s offerings.

“They’ve never heard of a pretzel chocolate peanut butter before,” she said.

Now they export to the Middle East, with plans to expand sales to Hong Kong, South Korea and the Philippines, according to the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

The two initially sought help from the Export Indiana Accelerator Program, completing a 12-week training program. There they were introduced to the bank where they were guided on how to avoid costly mistakes.

BNutty also was honored in 2021 during Small Business Week in Indiana as Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year.

National Small Business Week has been proclaimed by U.S. presidents for almost 60 years. It recognizes the importance of small business owners and entrepreneurs in the economy. More than half of Americans work or own a a small business, and two of every three new jobs are created by small business.

The SBA highlights small business owners from all 50 states and U.S. territories during the week. The national Small Business of the Year also will be announced during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

BNutty was founded by Thompkins in 2014 and was later joined by business partner Podolak. The company produces a variety of flavors and gift baskets, which are produced at their Portage production facility.   


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