Beyond Peanut Butter: Island Nut Roastery

Peanut butter will always be a classic staple, but nut butters, spreads made from nuts and seeds can really spruce things up.

Along with peanut butter, nut butters and are an excellent source of protein and monounsaturated fats. Nuts are great for snack time too, from crackers and toast to ants on a log, the nut fruit family is a nutritious, delicious source of fuel for all nut lovers. 

As much as I love a good PB & J sandwich, there’s so many more spreads out there to dabble in! Like almond, cashew, hazelnut and walnut butters. Unfortunately, more than once I’ve purchased a nut butter spread only to find that it tastes rancid, dries out quickly or is basically pure oil. That was until I came across locally made Island Nut Roastery.

This small batch roastery uses only the freshest, highest-quality nuts for their butters. They are 100% oil, additive and preservative free. Each product has a distinctly fresh, rich, nutty, creamy taste. There are no assembly lines, or deep fryers in sight for this company; each batch is hand roasted or ground.

Owner Max Young explains how they started as a bulk food retailer and started experimenting with small batches if nut butters. Friends and clients responded with such enthusiasm that the demand grew and now they distribute to over 50 suppliers on and off Vancouver Island.

“We’ve added about a store a week over the last year” Young says.

So what makes this product so darn good?

“It’s natural” Young says. “We add nothing but the nuts. The consistency is quite a bit different, too [from other commercial nut butters], and the freshness because it hasn’t sat in a distribution warehouse.”

“We are a small batch artisan Nut Roastery. We don’t believe in our roasted nuts sitting in a warehouse. We make our products once the order has been placed. Minimizing the time between production and consumption puts the Fresh Roast in the West Coast!”

In the year and a half Island Nut Roastery has been in business, they’ve created several nut butters, all with Island-inspired names:


The Pacific Rim Smooth and Crunchy Peanut Butter

This is what peanut-butter should taste like! Fresh and creamy with a natural saltiness.


The Island Almond Butter

Pure, clean almond taste; nutty and slightly sweet. Try it as a snack spread on figs or dates!


The Highlander Almond-Hemp Butter

The only one of its kind, this nut butter combo is a big hitter. The hemp doesn’t over power the almonds but rather, the two compliment each other in crunchy, nutty and slightly sweet flavour with a great texture.


The Coastal Cashew Butter

Now, this is what you call gourmet. A rich, dense, creamy butter made with 100% cashews; it’s deliciously rich, smooth and decadent.


Young highlights the key components to the success of their business is “that the quality and freshness stand out, that the price-point is on-par with the competition and the tie-in is that it’s a one hundred percent locally made product.”


Alternative Ways to Enjoy Nut Butters

  • On fruit (apples, pears, dates, or figs) or vegetables (celery, jicama).

  • Spooned into a bowl of oatmeal, or other hot cereal topped with fruit.

  • Used in place of peanut butter when making cookies or energy bars.

  • Added to smoothies for protein and as a thickener.

  • Substitute cashew butter for tahini when making hummus.

Interested in checking out Island Nut Roastery and their products? Find them at their newly opened location in Sidney, B.C. With over 2500 square feet of processing space and a retail store, Young is excited to “expand and take [their] products even farther up Island.” Plus he says the larger space “allows us more opportunity to play with flavours and work on our line of in-house made products.”

The company has branched into a whole new line of trail mixes (all with Island inspired names) including the popular One Sailing Wait mix, dried fruits, raw, roasted and spiced nuts.

“We’ve been playing with the Hoyne Dark Matter roasted beer nuts too” says Young, who’s sure will be a sought after product. The nuts are soaked in the beer, roasted then burnt off with sugar. Yum!

Whether you serve it, spread it or eat it with a spoon you can’t go wrong with Island Nut Roastery nut butters.


Island Nut Roastery



Address: Unit 6 – 2042 Mills Road, Sidney, B.C.




Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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