Friends Peter Ferreira, 35, Neil Cameron, 41, and Dennis Ianotti, 40, were fitness buffs sick of drinking chalky protein shakes. To cook up an alternative, in 2010 they convened at the Portuguese bakery in Providence, RI run by Ferreira’s parents, and concocted a line of nut butters fortified with protein and flax seed and infused with flavors like cinnamon raisin, white chocolate and pumpkin spice. The butters range in price from $7 to $15. The partners had sold $100,000 worth when Ferreira, who worked a day job as a web developer, applied to Shark Tank. The show “opened up the door to the mass market,” says Ferreira, who now works for Nuts ‘N More full time, while Cameron has hung onto his job as a manager at drugmaker Sanofi and Ianotti still works for a marketing firm. Nuts ‘N More sells from the company website and through GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods. Ferreira says the sharks have helped him negotiate better deals with suppliers and upped margins to 50%. Nuts ‘N More has its own store in Providence and 12 employees.
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