Chesapeake Peanut Butter Co. located in the Dutch Country Farmer's Market on North Broad Street opened last month.

Middletown residents Joe Fortunato and his fiancee, Lauren Loughran, have gone nutty for peanut butter with their new venture, Chesapeake Peanut Butter Co. located in the Dutch Country Farmer’s Market on North Broad Street.

The store opened for business last month.

The store shelves are lined up with 8, 16 and 32-ounce jars of peanut butter flavors including chocolate, butterscotch, cappuccino, hazelnut and honey roasted peanut butter. There are also jars of natural peanut butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter, almond butter and an organic peanut butter. And, they are all homemade!

“This is our family’s passion project as all employees are family members,” Fortunato said. “We have an assortment of other peanut butter products that are priced very well so that our customers can enjoy while also trying to stave off their peanut butter cravings.”

Customers can also find other nut butter products at the Chesapeake Peanut Butter’s store, including stuffed peanut butter cups, homemade peanut brittle, peanut butter and chocolate fudge, peanut butter nonpareils as well as an assortment of gourmet jellies that “kick-up” your PB&J sandwiches to an entirely different level, Fortunato said.

“Our customers also use our gourmet jellies and jams in savory dishes such as a topping on pork and chicken, or over brie and as an accompaniment to their holiday cheese trays,” he added. “We sell a peanut butter marshmallow spread that our customers use on apples, celery, crackers, pancakes, ice cream, on peanut butter banana sandwiches or sometimes squeeze right into their mouths.”

And just when you thought you knew all the products the couple sells – wait. There are also homemade peanut butter dog treats.

“Each quarter, 10 percent of proceeds from the treats will be donated to Faithful Friends Animal Shelter,” Fortunato said.

The peanuts

One of the secrets to the homemade nut butter recipes is the peanuts. Fortunato said that the company uses the world famous “Virginia Runner” peanuts because they have the right amount of oil for making the creamiest and best tasting nut butters in the region, Fortunato said.

As the business continue to grow, Fortunato said that more new products will hit the store’s shelves in the future, but that in the meantime customers should think about the beneficial amount of protein from the products he sells and also about giving them away as gifts.

Nut butter jars start at $3 each, all the way to $20 depending on the size.

“Our peanut butter products make great gifts and stocking stuffers for the peanut butter enthusiast in your family. We create a variety of gift baskets to meet your financial needs as they too make great gifts for family, teachers, employees, coworkers etc. Please come and visit us to see what weekly specials we are running,” Fortunato said.

For those who want to browse Chesapeake Peanut Butter products online will soon be able to. Fortunato said that the company’s website will be launching next month.

Chesapeake Peanut Butter Co. store hours are Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.