Doing Business for Generations: Koeze Company

    Four generations of family in the gourmet food business
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    Jeff Koeze of Koeze Company has his hands in the process. Photo by Alfield Reeves.

    If you’re looking for peanut butter with some history, Koeze Company is the place to go. Founded in 1910 by Sibbele Koeze, the company passed to his son Alburtus, to his son A. Scott and wife Ruth, and now to Jeff Koeze, who is president of the company.

    Jeff Koeze at the Koeze Company’s warehouse early afternoon on Wednesday November 29, 2023. Photo by Alfield Reeves.

    Jeff Koeze calls his grandparents “big fish in a small town,” part of a group of people focused on making Wyoming into the city it is today. Koeze Company remains based in Wyoming, just a mile from where the original two facilities were located, with a retail store at Knapp’s Corner on the northeast side. Jeff Koeze is member of an economic development group and a foundation related to the city of Wyoming.

    From the 1950s to 1994, Koeze was an industrial peanut butter manufacturer, making peanut butter for companies that used it in other products. That part of the business was sold, but Koeze still makes peanut butter on a smaller scale. It’s a bestseller for the company, as are cashews and cashew products. Half of all sales take place in December, a mixture of corporate and individual gifts.

    “I like how richly networked the community is and how community-oriented people are,” said Jeff Koeze. “The business culture is built on trust and relationships, which makes business more efficient and pleasant than what I imagine it is in other communities. Family businesses are part of that.”

     

     

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