Nelson can now claim its own version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - only, with peanut butter.
The 11-year-old brand of Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter opened the doors to its new home ‘Pic’s Peanut Butter World’ today, with an estimated 6000 people passing through.
The factory has doubled in size to meet an increasing demand and will be able to produce up to 50,000 jars a day after churning out five million jars of its much-loved spreads last year.
Founder Bruce ‘Pic’ Picot says New Zealand is still the brand’s biggest market.
“I can't believe how much peanut butter we sell in New Zealand,” he told 1 NEWS.
“Australia's our second biggest and China's going crazy”.
Chinese distributor and Ebaytown Director Catherine Wang says expansion in China is increasing “50 per cent every year at least” with the potential to grow further.
Among those getting an up-close look at the journey of peanut butter from the Nelson factory to shelves was one of the Australian peanut farmers who grows the star ingredient for Pic’s.
Richard Standen says seeing the popularity of the peanut butter for himself was “mind blowing”.
“I just can't believe that these people are all here and something we started growing in Australia. It's very humbling”.
The company is looking to also use locally sourced nuts.
“We're doing some trials now in New Zealand for growing peanuts in New Zealand and they’re looking very promising,” explains Mr Picot.
“It'll take a few years, we've got to build it up”.
Today's opening overcame the disruption of the Tasman fire, with some staff affected over the past few weeks.
Volunteer firefight Jordan Simpson was given the green light by Pic’s to stop peanut butter making and join the firefighting efforts.
He says colleagues offered him peanut butter reinforcements.
“I have my own little secret stash that I packed into my go bag, and took that up with me and was sharing that out with the guys and girls”.
While Mr Picot’s future creations remain top-secret, he did give away one idea to 1 NEWS – he is very fond of making marmalade at his bach.