Danny Castaneda

Danny's Nut Butter
New York City
Admittedly, running the Busboy platform comes with a lot of opportunity for us to pick and choose products and places that excite us. Danny Castaneda has been on our radar since early lockdown (#tbt to banana bread days), when we kept seeing his small batch cashew-almond butter jars popping up all over friends and foodies’ Instagram feeds. The journey continued when we spotted more jars in our favorite stores, like Dimes Market. As we pivoted our focus to include at-home creators, Danny was among the first to come to mind. We went to visit him at his kitchen to watch him turn peanuts into roasted, maple syrupy, cinnamon-infused ~gold~.
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Full name, age where are you from?

 My name is Danny Castaneda, I'm 25 years old and I'm From Flatbush BK.

What was growing up like for you and did you have family meals growing up?

Growing up in Brooklyn was amazing, New York being the melting pot that it is I got the opportunity to hang out and learn from a lot of kids from different backgrounds. Both my parents emigrated from Colombia so my mother would always prepare typical Colombian foods. Large portions of meat, rice and beans and plantains were always present.

What meal most reminds you of your childhood? 

Nothing like a hot n fresh arepa con queso, I get flashbacks to being a kid just eating them.

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Tell us a bit about your venture. What is your role and how did you get into this industry?

I started Danny’s Nut Butter back in April 2020, about a month after everything was shut down from covid. I was working as a Bartender and DJ pre-Corona so I was pretty much out of work and had to figure out a way to stay to stay afloat. Initially I was selling jars via instagram to the homies and it sort of spiraled into something bigger from there. I never expected this to pop off the way it did and I'm very grateful for everything coming our way.

Aside from financial necessity, Part of the reason I started DNB was because I always felt that the artisanal/ small batch food market was always overwhelmingly white. I've never really seen a product that truly resonated with me, that was marketed towards people who look like me. Changing the approachability and accessibility of these types of food for BIPOC communities is of the utmost importance to me.

How has the pandemic affected you?

To summarize it all, I lost my jobs, was unemployed for almost a year, started a business, and started teaching middle school simultaneously. It's been a real rollercoaster but we still here, stayin' positive and keepin' it pushin.

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What do you think working in this industry during this time has taught you?

This year has been a hard one for everyone, it's definitely taught me that no matter what there are people who are willing to support and look out for you, shout out to everyone who's helped Danny’s Nut Butter flourish. 

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