Pic Picot is a Kiwi legend, and proof you’re never too old to hit on the winning business formula.
He’d always had an entrepreneurial spark, but he didn’t start his winning peanut butter business until he was 55. If you’ve missed his products in your local supermarket, Pic owns Pic’s Peanut Butter World in Nelson, which brings in brings in nearly $40 million of annual sales a year.
Before he started making the spread, he’d been a leather sandal maker, furniture maker, restaurateur, and finally a sailing school owner. But due to macular degeneration, his eyesight got so bad he was ‘having trouble finding the marina at the end of a lesson’ so his sailing days were over. He needed a bit of extra pocket money, so thought he’d monetise his new-found hobby of making peanut butter.
“I was getting cross with the peanut butter in the shop. They started putting sugar in it and I thought it was revolting. And it’s very easy to make - you just get peanuts and you roast them and squash them”.
So he did just that, starting with a concrete mixer and half a tonne of peanuts in his garage. But it turned into something much more than that, a business that now processes one tonne of peanuts every hour into as many as 25,000 jars of peanut butter every day.
It’s also something he can do despite his eyesight. In fact - he sees it as a way to make money because of his eyesight.
“In my working life, I spent so much of that time working pretty much by myself, so it really choked what I was able to do. I have to credit my eyesight with forcing me to delegate and I think getting out of their way and letting them do what they’re good at made a massive difference. That’s why this business has grown so much more than anything else I’ve ever done.”
If you want to hear more about Pic’s peanut butter empire, you can hear his episode of HP Business Class here: