East Wind Nut Butters is owned and operated by members of East Wind Community – one of the oldest intentional communities in America – founded in 1974. There are over 65 of us, living together cooperatively on 1045 acres of land in the Ozark hills of rural southern Missouri. We’ve had over 30 years of experience making a variety of nut butters in our on site facility that we like to call “the Nut House”.
The nut butter business has been an essential part of East Wind Community since 1980. Today East Wind Nut Butters is still producing a natural and wholesome food product with labor provided by community members. Members participate in the business in a variety of ways. Some work takes place inside “the Nut House” itself, such as roasting raw nuts, milling butter, packaging finished product, and servicing equipment. Community members also maintain our large warehouse ,”Siberia”, and prepare orders to be shipped in “Galileo”. In the office, members take care of business management and accounting. All of our business infrastructure is located within our community proper.
All full members are equal owners of our businesses–full membership is available after one year of trial membership. Our co-operative model has been successful over the years. Customers who buy our nut butter receive a delicious, healthy product. They also contribute to an egalitarian, cooperative way of life.
At East Wind Nut Butters we make every effort to reduce our ecological footprint and move towards sustainability. Commuting works out quite well–we all walk or bike to work! In 2011 we started discussing and planning a project to install a solar array on the top of our nut butter facility. We completed installation in November 2011. The array provides 35% of the electricity needed to run our industrial operations. Craig Wiles of Preferred Energy in Mountain Grove, Missouri was an enormous help in the planning of the project and selection of components. Craig oversaw the installation of the array, which was done by community members.
Income from the nut butter business allows East Winders to be involved in a wide variety of other work, including a large organic garden, a ranch program which supplies most of the community’s dairy products, building projects, volunteer work in nearby towns, forestry, and many other areas. New projects are always underway, as members arrive with their specific skills and interests. Recent developments include a new saw mill and plans for a residence building that can cater to our older or injured members. Our shared business encourages a strong sense of cooperation, camaraderie, and responsibility within the community. We strive to use the income generated in accordance with our values.