Written By: Oregon Hazelnuts
Oregon soil is in their blood. For the founding members of Premium Growers, their connection to the land they grew up on and work to this day is seminal to the formation of their company. Each founding member can trace their Oregon roots back more than 100 hundred years. The company is the brainchild of three childhood friends—Brent, Marty and Bob.
The trio grew up near Gervais, Oregon, surrounded by agriculture. Brent and Marty continued to work the same land as their ancestors, mastering all facets of hazelnut farming. Bob’s journey led him to Miami where worked in the cruise line industry before returning to his hometown; with his business acumen and the other partners’ knowledge of hazelnuts, all the pieces were in place to bring their idea to fruition.
Premium Growers was borne out of the desire to market healthy, natural and shelf-stable snack food. Hazelnuts were a natural choice to be their first venture into this arena; the team began exploring the best flavor combinations and testing different seasonings. One of their biggest breakthroughs was discovering a roasting method that requires no oils or additives. This means more patience in the roasting process, as the nuts take more time to absorb the flavor from the seasoning this way. But it is worth it to achieve the lofty standards.
This is yet another step in their pursuit of quality. Premium Growers hand-sort their hazelnuts so only the best go into their retail bags. They take extra steps to ensure freshness during storage and handling. From the orchard to the store shelf, every step is designed to maximize premium quality.
Premium Growers currently offers seven different hazelnut varieties in their product line: Natural Roasted, Spicy Barbecue, Sweet Savory, Sweet Cinnamon, Lightly Salted, Milk Chocolate Coated and Dark Chocolate Coated. This year they are debuting holiday tins in two sizes, each one containing an array of flavors.
Hazelnuts are just the first product line for the ambitious trio. They are in the process of creating new products using locally sourced fruit that they hope will be available in 2021!
Premium Growers sell their hazelnuts through their online store, via Amazon or at several retail locations.