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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 hello@grounduppdx.com. We'll be in touch soon!

Healthy, gourmet nut butters that help women in need.

Meet Ruth

We are excited to introduce you to our second employee, Ruth!

Meet Ruth

 Ruth and Julie working on sales at a local market.

Ruth and Julie working on sales at a local market.

 
 

April 3, 2018

We are so excited to introduce you to our longest-standing employee, Ruth Makinster! Ruth is our Production & Sales Assistant—a super hard worker who brings great energy to our team.  We are grateful to be a part of her journey and walk alongside her as she works towards reaching her next step! We asked Ruth to share more about herself below.

Hi, I’m Ruth. I’m a Portland native and the longest standing employee at Ground Up PDX. Just over two years ago, I was connected with Julie and Carolyn while working with a Career Development Coach at the Education Resource Center (ERC). The ERC, as a part of Outside In, offers a myriad of education and employment resources to homeless youth.

Having spent most of my adult life working in wilderness conservation, an active knee injury caused me to reach out and explore different pathways. Ground Up has helped me greatly, offering employment and accommodation in periods of physical and financial distress.

My first day of work with Ground Up, I spent the day toasting coconut and almonds. Over the last two years, I learned more than I ever thought I would: the ins and outs of networking and business-building, communication in a professional field, and daily lessons from both the business and the team. Today I’m happy to tell friends and family I am a production and sales assistant at Ground Up PDX.

For me, the best part about this job has always been sharing the experience with the women involved. There is so much strength in community, sharing the struggles and stories; the resources and knowledge. Helping support and empower the young women who work alongside me is what sets this job apart from any other job in my life so far. As a peer mentor, I feel lucky to have the chance to provide insight to someone whose current struggles were mine in the past.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced at Ground Up is learning how to use my voice. In the beginning, I was nervous to speak to people at events. Now, I’m learning to be an advocate and an honest, open-minded, willing individual. It is important to me that the story of any woman be respected and shown in an empowering light. Complicated doesn’t even begin to describe figuring out how to express this in the sales and marketing world!

On a lighter note, the nut butters we make here are so tasty that, in my opinion, all you have to do is grab a spoon. Or make a slice of toast, or cut up an apple. Tip: don’t be afraid to finish the jar… One thing not many people know about me is that I am a wild soul who is content to backpack in any weather. I’m super flexible! I’ll make anything from scratch just for fun, as long as it doesn’t contain meat or dairy. I spend my free time painting, drawing, reading, drinking coffee with friends,  and playing the piano and guitar.

In the next couple weeks I hope to make some Thai-inspired sauces with our nut butter. My co-worker has been conjuring up all sorts of delicious ideas and continues to inspire me to “try it myself”. It’s great to come to work and not only talk business, but also life, health, and inspiration.

 

"This job is so fun!  I love getting the opportunity to take ownership on a certain task and that my bosses trust me to do it well!" - Ruth

 Ruth found an amazing new source for ingredients for us—here she is with her sample box of almonds! Pure pride.

Ruth found an amazing new source for ingredients for us—here she is with her sample box of almonds! Pure pride.

 Ruth's favorite flavor is our Classic Smooth!

Ruth's favorite flavor is our Classic Smooth!