Local Residents Launch Healthy Peanut Butter Brand

It's filling. It's nutrient dense. It's low-carb. It's delicious. It's Giv Soft Butter

I learned a lot from my conversation with Giv Soft Butter founders Paul Giovanniello and Stephanie Sarup. Like that pineapple contains as much sugar as a candy bar. And that table salt is terrible for you. 

Paul and Stephanie met each other randomly in Ridgefield through local sports. Paul ended up coaching Stephanie's son in basketball and football, and the two quickly found out they share similar experiences. In addition to having kids the same age playing the same sports, they discovered, through small talk on the field, that they both studied at Boston College and are very passionate about health.

"There's an instant bond you have being of the same alumni," Stephanie said of their Alma mater. After finding out her son was born with a rare mutation deficiency that shuts off a protein the body would naturally make on its own, Stephanie decided to treat it with diet and exercise, which is where her interest in food came from. "Sugar, carbs, and other inflammatory foods just add fuel to the fire," Stephanie described of certain things that worsened her son's condition.

"And I started a keto, low-carb diet five years ago which completely changed the way I view health and nutrition," Paul added. 

Paul remarked there are a plethora of people who get to middle age and realize their relationship with food changes. After trying a low-carb diet, he lost 40 lbs and was able to maintain a healthy diet easily.

"When you're on that kind of a diet, you still get cravings." Paul noted. "But with peanut butter, you only need a little to stave off cravings. Once you're on keto, you also become really sensitive to sugar," a factor that became key in the creation of Giv Soft Butter.

After experimenting with making his own peanut butter (which was a lot of grinding nuts in his kitchen with a food processor), Paul discovered that monk fruit tastes just like sugar, but has zero calories and zero carbs.

During a warm-up at their sons basketball practice, a simple "What did you do this weekend?" conversation turned into a push from Stephanie for Paul to sell his homemade peanut butter online. "Within 24 hours, she built a website," Paul said. Once they teamed up, they realized they didn't want to sacrifice taste for health, and found out that unique lane wasn't being filled very well. 

"The old saying, 'sugar and butter make everything taste better' is true," Paul laughed. "What we needed to do was find that taste back." This is how their tagline, "The taste you grew up with, the nutrition you expect," came about.

In addition to adding monk fruit to their low-carb nuts, the health-conscious entrepreneurs use sea salt, "a very healthy mineral," into the mix, creating the ultimate sweet and salty peanut butter in a healthy context. No added sugar, two net carbs per serving.

For those uninvested in the inner workings of nut butters, traditional peanut butter is peanut-based, which is a higher carb nut. Pecans, on the other hand, are on the low end of carbs, so Giv combines both peanuts and pecans, allowing their product to maintain that peanut butter taste without the carb overload.

"Our peanut butter is very liquidy," Stephanie states. "You can drink it out of the jar, have a spoonful of it when you're feeling hungry, drizzle it on dessert like ice cream, or spread it on toast, just like any other peanut butter." 

Their latest offering is Hazella, a dessert peanut butter, comparable (but not really) to Nutella. "Hazelnuts are very low-carb, so it's the same low-carb effect as our peanut butter," Paul commented of their newest creation. "It’s a health food that tastes like dessert."

Their jars are sold at a handful of local food stores around town, as well as on Amazon.

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