Here are some of the things Adrian Reif has done since graduating from Vanderbilt eight years ago: Taught English in China. Started an environmental consulting company. Worked for a wealth management company. Trekked Nepal and climbed Mount Everest. Brewed his own kraut, kombucha and kefir. Been featured in Martha Stewart Living. Played in the Ultimate Frisbee championship finals. Fed thousands of malnourished children. And ground a lot of nuts.
Reif is the founder of Yumbutter, which turns organic peanuts, almonds and sunflowers into products like spicy Thai peanut butter and almond butter with chia, hemp seeds and goji. “Our dream is to nourish the world,” says Reif. “We’ve helped provide more than 15,000 feedings to children with malnutrition. Our three-year goal is 2.5 million.”
The Wisconsin native majored in psychology at Vanderbilt, where he also played football. After college Adrian enrolled in the Vanderbilt Owen School’s Business Accelerator program and then worked for UBS Wealth Management. It was during a nearly yearlong sojourn in Asia that Reif became focused on helping create a better world. Returning to Wisconsin he launched Yumbutter, renting out space in a bakery kitchen and selling his product at more than 100 farmers’ markets the first summer.
Reif and Yumbutter co-owner Matt D’Amour partner with a nonprofit in Guatemala to provide care to malnourished children and their mothers.
“We’re expanding rapidly,” Reif notes. “Alumni can find us on store shelves in the eastern part of the country and in the Southeast.”