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Lee Zalben: Like Buttah...Peanut Buttah

[ photo: Lee Zalben ]

Like Buttah...Peanut Buttah

When he was a student at Vassar, Lee Zalben '95 always won the late-night contests he held with friends to see who could come up with the craziest but tastiest peanut butter sandwich. That's when he first dreamed up Peanut Butter & Co., a restaurant that sells nothing but unique peanut butter sandwich combos. Four years after he graduated, he did the dream; opened what is now a very successful Greenwich Village restaurant devoted entirely to P.B.

Today, Peanut Butter & Co. also retails six varieties of peanut butter from its founding store on Sullivan Street, from nearly 150 grocery stores in 16 states, and through the company's website and two affiliated sites. Zalben still manages day-to-day operations, including the manufacture of the company's signature gourmet varieties, and he is also currently working on a peanut butter pop-culture cookbook. "I don't think I chose peanut butter," Zalben told the New York Times (Metro Section, June 20, 1999). "Peanut butter chose me."
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