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Founder Feature: Keeley Tillotson & Erika Welsh

The story behind Keely Tillotson’s and Erika Welsh’s nut butter creations is one of those “two crazy kids get lucky” tales.

“We ran out of peanut butter one day in college. We happened to have a food processor, a bag of peanuts and a pantry full of ingredients that we started blending together,” said Erika. “From the first taste, we knew our creations were too good to keep to ourselves, so we started sharing them with friends. When our budget-friendly peers started asking where they could buy it, we knew we had created something special!”

Neither Erika or Keeley was the little kid with the lemonade stand. They always had jobs - from babysitting and lifeguarding, to working in food service.  Erika was an environmental studies and Spanish double major, and Keeley majored in journalism. Both women were passionate about making the world a better place, and eventually found their way into business through that lens.

Since day one of starting Wild Friends, there have been daily surprises and challenges, which is the nature of start-up life. Erika recalls, “One of our earliest surprises was discovering that we couldn't use brewed coffee in a chocolate coffee peanut butter we used to make - hello mold!”

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur? Erika’s answer is immediate. “Knowing that I get to build a company with my best friend and our amazing team. We're committed to making high quality, great tasting food for you and your family to enjoy.”

An added benefit? “We run our business in such a way that the more you learn about us the better you feel. We're a proud Certified B Corporation which allows us to focus just as much on creating delicious products as it does on the impact we're making in our community and on the world,” said Erika.


Katelyn Murphy-McCarthy

Katelyn is a writer and editor specializing in creative nonfiction. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and loves hearing and sharing the stories of women who are making a difference.
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