Like many of us, 50-year-old Mike Hottinger's very favorite childhood food was a good, old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The Wisconsin real estate investor's passion for the cuisine hasn't faded. In fact, Hottinger is so passionate about PB&J that he plans to open a restaurant that specializes in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
This isn't just a pipe dream — Hottinger has already begun advertising for employees and seeking the necessary city approvals. He's even filed for a trademark on the name of his restaurant: the Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli. (We dig the rhyme.)
“Our plan is to bring peanut butter and jelly to a higher form," Hottinger says.
Lest you think he doesn't take the matter of PB&J very seriously, Hottinger's detailed plans should put all your doubts to rest. “We’re going to have about 10 different nut butters that we’re going to be grinding in-house every day,” he explains. “Going to be very fresh, fast, affordable. We’re working with a small-batch local jelly manufacturer. We’re going to have about 70 different jellies and jams to choose from."
If all goes according to plan, the Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli will open its doors this fall. And Hottinger isn't the only PB&J enthusiast, so there's definitely a market for it — according to a 2016 survey, the average American eats 3.36 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a month. Of course, the biggest roadblock he'll face is that you don't exactly need to be a stellar chef to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“The product has to be really good, since consumers can make their own at home pretty easily and with high quality grocery ingredients,” says Darren Tristano, chief insights officer for food-industry research firm Technomic.
But, where there's a will there's a way — and Hottinger's devotion to PB&J is undeniable.