Q&A with Barsy’s Almonds

Don’t look now, but National Almond Day was this past Saturday. We spent some time celebrating our favorite nut with local producers Jason and Barbara of Barsy’s Almonds. Check out our Q&A below and learn more about these delicious, Minnesota-made treats!

Tell us about Barsy’s Almonds.

We were friends who worked together at a small, mail-order company for a number of years. We started Barsy’s Almonds at local Farmer’s Markets in 2008. At that time it was a part-time gig, but a number of co-ops approached us about bringing us into their stores and we soon expanded enough to quit our regular jobs and do Barsy’s Almonds full time.

What is the most popular Barsy’s Almond flavor?

Our most popular flavor is the Smokies. We really don’t have personal favorites—the flavors were our own creation, so that would be like picking a favorite child!

Why is it important to keep Barsy’s Almonds small and local?

“Small and local” means we have complete control over production and quality. We still mix every batch by hand and use top-quality, natural ingredients. Also, we’re able to build meaningful relationships with the stores and co-ops that sell us. Feedback has been essential.

Jason preparing small-batches of Barsy’s Almonds by hand in Minnesota

What is rewarding about owning a business focused on food?

We love being a part of this vibrant local food scene. It’s been great fun!

Do you have a favorite recipe that uses Barsy’s Almonds?

No special recipes, but we add our almonds to lots of our favorite recipes: Chopped Smokies on salads, Naughties on ice cream, Sweeties in muffins and scones, Hotties in curries and chili, and Stuffies in mac and cheese (and stuffing, of course).

Find Barsy’s Almonds in the bulk section at the St. Peter Food Co-op!

This interview has been edited. All photos courtesy of Barsy’s Almonds.

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