Our Businesses

“To the greatest extent possible, the trade in which we engage will promote and contribute to the growth and maintenance of a non-exploitative world economy” - East Wind Community Bylaws

East Wind Nut Butters

East Wind Nutbutters is a worker-owned cooperative that produces wholesome organic and natural peanut butters, cashew butter, almond butter, tahini, and roasted peanuts. East Winders take pride in producing delicious quality nutbutters. Our financial needs are well provided for by the income that our business generates. All full members are equal owners of our businesses, as well as our assets and our land. Our shared business encourages a strong sense of cooperation, comraderie, and responsibility within community. We understand that we must work together responsibly for our continued success. All members must participate in our business, and they may choose to do so in a variety of ways. Some work takes place inside "the Nuthouse" itself, such as roasting raw nuts, packaging finished product, and servicing equipment. Others may choose to help maintain our large warehouse and prepare orders to be shipped, or to work in offices as accountants or as logistics managers. All of our business infrastructure (the Nuthouse, Siberia, and Enterprise) are located within our community proper. Our co-operative model has been quite successful over the years, and East Wind Nut Butters has been an essential part of East Wind Community since 1980.

If you are interested in purchasing some our natural nut butter products, please visit us at East Wind Crafts. Thank you! Nut butter production--please hover over thumbnail for larger view:

Utopian Rope Sandals

Our sandals are handmade by community members from durable polypropylene rope. The sandals are lightweight (about 8oz. per pair), and will not rot or mildew. Because they float and get excellent traction on wet surfaces, the sandals have long been popular with boaters and canoers.

If you’re interested in getting yourself or a friend a pair, you can buy them at East Wind Crafts. The History of our Businesses

Making hammocks

In the autumn of 1974, East Wind was a year and a half old and had been on the land for six months, yet we still had no business of our own. We were supporting ourselves by sending people to work on a rotational basis to cities such as Springfield and St. Louis. A period of “outside work” is an extremely difficult time for any community, and it was taking its toll. At that time, Twin Oaks, which had been in the hammock business for several years, took on Pier I imports as a major new account. This required more production than they could handle alone, so they asked if we would share in their business. At one point, our hammocks shop provided us with over three quarters of our total income.

We started making Utopian rope sandals in 1976, when some members got the idea that something could be done to utilize the scrap rope from our hammocks. After some experimenting they put together, what we believe was, the first rope sandals made in this design. Others have copied the design but, they all trace back to an East Wind origin. In any case, we think ours are the best.

The hammocks industry involved little investment, required little skill, had a quick and decent payback, and offered a pleasant work environment. For nearly two decades our relationship with Twin Oaks Hammocks provided East Wind a sound business which grew from workers in surplus army tents to a 6000 square foot industrial building. It is in this space that our rope sandal business was created. Currently, we participate much less in Twin Oaks Hammocks business, only helping with the occasional large order. The sound financial base that East Wind built during those years helped grow the community in population and in size. Our resources were used in 1980 to finance a totally new industry: East Wind Nut Butters.

Our new nut butter building

In 1980, with the help of Once Again Nut Butter Collective in New York, we began researching, arranging financing, building facilities, and buying equipment for our new nut products industry. In 1981 we completed the “Nuthouse” and started producing peanut, almond and cashew butters, tahini, and roasted nuts under the label East Wind Co-Op. Today East Wind Nutbutters is still producing a natural and wholesome food product with labor provided by income sharing communitarians in a worker owned cooperative.