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Ground Up PDX uses its delicious Keto friendly nut butters to lift up women in their community! The Portland-based company employs homeless and trafficked women, giving them the hands-on job training they need in order to pursue the futures that they deserve.

The Story

Ground Up PDX was started by friends, Julie Sullivan and Carolyn Cesario. Julie had been working with a business in Uganda that employed women overcoming poverty. Once she returned home to Portland, she decided that she wanted to work on a similar business.

Julie knew what that business should be after tasting Carolyn’s amazing homemade nut butter! Carolyn had been making and selling her all-natural nut butter for years. She made all of her butter as diet-friendly as possible because of health issues she had been facing. They are all made with simple ingredients, original flavorings and without refined sugar, peanuts, and other additives.

The women started with one intern in Julie’s garage and now operate in a peanut-free facility with multiple employees! They currently sell seven different flavors, including Coconut Cardamom with Chia Seeds and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle! The pair even won a coveted Good Food Award this year.

Changing the Narrative for the Women of Portland

Portland, Oregon has the second highest rate of homelessness in the country and the staff at Ground Up are women overcoming adversity in the Portland area. Hands-on job training is a vital part of Ground Up’s mission, empowering homeless and trafficked women through employment.

Employees are involved in all of Ground Up’s production: making the food; branding and marketing; selling at local farmer’s markets. The staff chooses the skills and sectors that they would most like to have listed on a resume.

Author’s Note: I actually teared up at the introduction video on Ground Up’s website and we need more companies like Ground Up PDX who are changing the structural inequities in place.

Support Ground Up PDX

Coconut Cardamom with Chia Seeds

Cinnamon Snickerdoodle

Chunky Almond, Cashew & Coconut


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