Zionsville, Ind. – Did you know Zionsville has something no other town in America has? We’ve taken you there before a few years ago, but something unexpected happened so we went back.
And, how did one Zionsville family take their love of peanut butter and spread it nationwide?
We’re heading to Boone County for this week’s Your Town Friday!
First, we’ll go inside a small house tucked away along Zionsville’s Main Street where Jon Weed and his family spend more time than they anticipated.
“We love peanut butter and we were making it at home and giving it to friends and family and I thought it would be a cool way to introduce the kids to running a small business.” said Jon. “Really the original goal was to do the Zionsville Farmer’s Market every other week and we didn’t really have any grand plans bigger than that.”
But then Goose the Market took a taste and more and more places started calling. Jon, his wife Kathy, and their kids Jackson, Julia and Sawyer, unexpectedly needed to scoop up and shell out a lot more product.
Fortunately for all peanut butter lovers craving more, they said definitely to spreading peanut butter joy with their B Happy Peanut Butter.
“We’ve got a family sign downstairs in our basement and it says be nice and do good things and be happy,” said Jon. “One night after I put the kids to bed, I walked past that sign and I saw “be happy” and I thought, you know, that could be a fun name for the peanut butter business.”
B Happy Peanut Butter flavors now fill 60 to 80 thousand jars a year from the small commercial kitchen. All family hands are on deck and a few family friends help now, too.
“There was a lot of trial and error but we finally found the peanuts that we like and the ingredients that we like and the consistency. I think the really unique thing is that the consistency is somewhere between smooth and crunchy.”
B Happy Peanut Butter is in several local stores and is in Market District’s in three states. It’s been shipped to 48 of 50 states and all this success happened in just four years.
So are they peanut buttered out?
“It’s funny, I swear I eat it!” said Jon. “I’ve got some jars in my office right now and I have some of it every day at work.”
He’s still a fan.
And speaking of fans, let’s head down the road!
“There is probably somewhere in the range of 2,000 fans and 1,000 hand fans,” said Tom Frampton.
Tom started working in the fan business in high school and eventually was involved in Casablanca Fans and now owns Fanimation. He says his fan success really began when he designed a bedroom fan for the movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills and moviegoers went crazy for it!
“We have alcohol-powered fans. We have natural gas-powered fans. We have pulley-driven fans. We have belt-driven fans.”
Some fans date back to the 1800’s and some in the collection are worth up to $25,000!
We first visited the museum a few years ago, but something unexpected has happened since then. The number one visitor now? Families with a child with autism.
“Most families come in here and almost have identical stories,” said Tom. “Their son was interested in fans almost from birth and it becomes a fascination. Most people who visit with an autistic child are from out of state. People drive in and fly in just to see the museum. It’s been totally unexpected.”
The two-story museum is open during Fanimation’s regular business hours, but you can schedule a private tour.