Contact Us

Whether you're reaching out with a product question, inquiring about a tasting at your workplace, looking for your next wedding flavor or would like to mentor as part of our employment training program, we'd love to hear from you! Either fill out the form to the right, or shoot us a note at We'll be in touch soon!

Healthy, gourmet nut butters that help women in need.



Ground Up is a for-profit business intent on training disadvantaged women in the Greater Portland area in marketable skills through the production and sales of delicious & nutritious nut butters! We take a holistic approach to empowerment, offering personal development services and mentoring during the workday. Our goal is for women to engage in creative self-expression with the hope of gaining confidence and realizing their full potential. Women will work with us for 6-9 months and then transition into full-time employment at Portland-area businesses.

The need for this bridge program is great and the statistics are sobering:

A third of Oregon’s single working mothers and their children live below the poverty line

41% of female-headed families with children are in poverty

44% of Oregon households receiving federal food assistance are headed by women

70% of those in poverty are women and children

We believe that it is wiser to teach a woman to fish, than to feed her fish. Rather than fundraising, our energy goes towards producing meaningful, quality products that create jobs and provide a platform for skills training. We’re convinced if you create economic and personal stability in a woman’s life, the trickle down effect to her family and community will be powerful and dramatic.


The Friday List No. 1 via Alison Wu / Wu Haus


Julie Sullivan

Julie recently returned from Uganda, where she was overseeing production for 31 Bits Designs, a company that employs women overcoming poverty.  She developed and implemented an employment training program for women in Uganda, igniting a passion. After witnessing the success of this model of empowerment, she sees the opportunity (and need) to implement a similar program in her home community of Portland. Julie has a degree in Sociology and Business from Whitworth University.

Julie's favorite Ground Up flavor is Coconut Cardamom with Chia Seed—she loves having it on-the-go with banana and apple!

Carolyn Cesario

Carolyn has been making and selling nut butters for years to friends and family, and has been perfecting her unique recipe. After developing a passion for nutrition and wellness through dealing with her own health issues, she began to notice a gap in the marketplace for nut butters made with simple ingredients, original flavorings, and without the addition of sugar, peanuts and other additives. Carolyn has a business degree from Babson and a full-time job in online marketing.

Carolyn's favorite Ground Up flavor is Lavender Honey—it's delicious swirled into oatmeal or added to morning smoothies!