An ex-teacher and her son have been serving up award-winning peanut butter near Salisbury and they are determined to be as environmentally friendly as possible. 

Utta Nutta, founded by Katie Sargent, 51, began as a hobby and is now a best-selling product across the UK.

Katie first considered making peanut butter when she looked at the ingredients in a jar from the supermarket and questioned why it contained palm oil.

She said: “I remember learning about the ozone layer in school, and about all the bad things in the planet. I was a vegetarian since I was young. The worst thing, for me - as I’m vegan and love animals - is the orangutans - all their habitats get destroyed.

"If you looked into palm oil and saw how tragic it was for all the animals, then you would probably not eat palm oil either. It’s not ethically okay.”

Trying several palm-oil-free peanut butter brands, Katie found them to have a taste that she described as like “cardboard”, so she began creating a delicious, palm-oil-free peanut butter of her own.

She said: “I thought, I really need to do something for myself. So, I took one day off a week and worked 4 days, to start an art course.”

Around 2015, Katie made the move to turn her hobby into a business while she still teaching art full-time at a local secondary school after friends and family became increasingly interested in purchasing her creation.

She took her peanut butter to a village fete in Stratford Tony where her product sold out and a shopkeeper inquired about selling it.

With no business background, Katie had to use the internet to learn about set-up, packaging and making barcodes. 

She said: “I remember getting my first order - where I had to send it to London. And I thought, how am I going to do this?”

From the get-go, Katie has been conscious of reducing costs and the impact on the environment, especially in her packaging. She would often go into Salisbury on a Thursday to find boxes left outside shops that had been left for recycling and re-use them.

Katie also avoids using plastic – instead, using newspaper to fill boxes with to protect the jars. Even petrol costs are kept low, as Katie uses a nearby distributor ‘Wilton Wholefoods’ to deliver her products nationwide.

Katie’s son, George Sargent-Childs, 25, helps with the marketing side of the business by selling at food markets as well as boosting their Instagram page.

He said: “I remember making labels with my mum and choosing which labels we were going to use - she drew loads of different labels in different colours and I remember taking them to school and asking all my friends which colour we should use.

"Mum adds in so much love and care and innate knowledge from her that makes it so special - she really cares for it. Utta Nutta is something else.”

"She has really inspired me to know that if you have an idea you can flow with it and follow it through - my mum, who knew nothing about business - has been able to make something so special and so successful.”

Utta Nutta sells three products: Original Peanut Butter, Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter and Cashew Nut Butter. The USP? They’re all free from palm oil.

Utta Nutta has won several awards over the years: Two gold stars for her Original and Extra Crunchy Peanut Butters at Great Taste Awards 2017 and 2018, and Gold at Taste of the West Awards. Utta Nutta Cashew Butter has also won two stars at the 2017 and 2020 Great Taste Awards