Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Whipping Up a Business Path

“Crazy Hair” was a candy that couldn’t be found on Long Island — unless, of course, you were buying it from Andrea Constantine (MSB ’12).

At only 13-years-old she had started her first business, selling candy that was formerly only for sale in Queens, located half an hour away.

Now a junior in college, Constantine sits at a table covered in jars of peanut butter as she recalls her first venture into the world of business.

“One day I was in the lunch line, and a girl came up to me and asked if she could buy some candy from me. I didn’t have the flavor she wanted, so we started walking out of the lunchroom to get to the locker, when two guys came up to us and asked for candy,” she recalls.

Within minutes, kids waving dollar bills and asking for the candy surrounded the two girls.

“By the time we left the lunchroom, my bag was empty,” she remembers, laughing.

According to Constantine, that’s when she realized that entrepreneurship was something she really loved.

That love has continued to grow as she prepares to launch her first company, a gourmet peanut butter venture called “Natively Nutty, LLC.” Constantine plans to launch the website in the beginning of June.

As a student in the McDonough School of Business, she seems to have the business model covered.

“I’ve already done spreadsheets. I have a couple more costs to consider — it’s not absolutely finalized,” she says.

She’s already found a supplier, estimated costs and is beginning to consider possible philanthropy. However, she stresses that she couldn’t do it alone. Her parents and a group of very supportive friends are backing Constantine, and she insists that they’ve helped her with whatever she needs along the way.

Sometimes lending a hand had a tasty payoff. Constantine has needed a number of taste testers, because she isn’t just selling peanut butter, she’s making her own flavors, including white chocolate and honey.

Constantine first came up with the idea while attending Villanova last year. Her boyfriend, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich connoisseur, got bored with the old standard and decided to add a new ingredient. One day, he spread cream cheese on his sandwich and offered it to Constantine. Surprised at how good it was, she decided that she could get more creative.

“Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches seem to be a staple in many households, especially with younger kids. So why not bring them gourmet peanut butter sandwiches?”

After determining that making unique sandwiches would be more difficult, Constantine decided to combine the ingredients right inside the jar. She’s taken the idea much further, however, writing a series of narratives, one for each flavor and even one for the nutrition information. The company has a mascot, too — an Amazon parrot named Patty.

Currently, Natively Nutty offers a total of seven flavors, each with a unique taste, name and story. Peppermint patty features peppermint flavoring and Oreo cookies, accompanied by the story of a girl who used to be a picky eater. The other flavors include Drunken Nut, Dreams in White Chocolate and Bee Nutty.

On a Tuesday evening, Constantine gathers a group of friends to sample the flavors that she has ready. Her friends are supportive but also critical, offering advice on both her recipes and her business plan.

Camilla Han-he (MSB ’13) chews thoughtfully after trying one of Constantine’s more unusual flavors: sour cream and cheddar chips peanut butter.

“There could be more chips, that could help with the contrast,” Han-he chimes in as the group discusses how to improve the flavor and texture.

Han-he, who is from a Chinese household, admits that she didn’t eat much of the American staple when she was growing up. However, she likes Constantine’s variety of flavors and calls the honey cinnamon peanut butter her favorite.

Once each of the flavors has been sampled, the group has ranked them all. White chocolate, peppermint patty and honey cinnamon come out on top, while almost everyone agrees that the sour cream and cheddar chips peanut butter needs some work.

“That just needs to be revisited,” Cody Ling (MSB’11) says after retrying the flavor. “I don’t know if it needs to be more crunchy. Have you thought about using Sun Chips?”

Once the tasting session is over, Constantine begins to clean up the kitchen, and a few friends stay to help. According to her friends, Constantine is known for baking frequently and always has food when they come over.

The more she talks, the more impossible it seems that she has any time for schoolwork, let alone baking. In addition to classes and starting her own company, Constantine is a Welcome Week coordinator and a member of the Georgetown chapter of National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She can also play the piano and violin, is fluent in Romanian and English and proficient in Spanish and French. She even used to play club volleyball at Georgetown but had to stop after a semester because it interfered with her LSAT class.

Despite her love for entrepreneurship, Constantine’s ultimate goal is actually law school. “Georgetown Law School in particular,” she specifies. “It’s always been a passion of mine as well.”

In the meantime, Constantine hopes to launch her company and help it to grow. She doesn’t want her products to be sold in supermarkets, preferring to reserve them for the gourmet market.

“Our ultimate goal is to open a store of our own, to open a Natively Nutty somewhere in Georgetown,” she said.

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