Nutty For Nut Milk
A pair of friends have cracked open the nut milk business here in Atlanta.
Here’s what happens when a journalist and a former politico with shared business aspirations team up: They create a nut milk company.
Founded just last year by Kate Carter and Bess Weyandt, Treehouse Milk has already garnered some buzz in the Atlanta area.
Weyandt, an almond milk drinker herself, wondered why there weren’t any fresh, local options. She also found “the opportunity to build a company with Bess was too tempting, especially given our shared vision of providing a healthy, pure product in the city we both love.” So they formed their venture. Weyandt is a rare breed of intown Atlantan (she was raised in Morningside and lives in Kirkwood) who only left for college, and Carter is a Candler Park resident and former journalism teacher at Grady High School. The two formed their idea while walking on the BeltLine. Says Weyandt: “It’s nicely symbolic that this idea was hatched on the BeltLine. It represents in physical form the aspirational personality of Atlanta. There’s been a heightened appreciation for and investment in place here in recent years—whether it’s culture, or food or just intown living—and that’s allowed us and other local entrepreneurs to stay and create here.”
From there, the duo knew that they wanted to focus on nut milks. “What we’re getting from large retailers isn’t really nut milk,” Weyandt points out. “The big brand almond milks contain very few almonds and are filled with thickening additives, like carrageenan (a carcinogen), that aren’t good for you. There is a simple and fresh way to make it, but it’s also time consuming.”
Adds Carter, “Our process is very simple. For example, to make our pecan milk, we buy pecans directly from our friends at Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, Ga. We blend the four ingredients—pecans, water, honey (from Sweetwater Creek Honey Farm) and vanilla—and then use a straining process to separate the meal from the milk. The result is smooth and creamy milk, a perfect local flavor for lattes and cappuccinos.”
Pecan milk is still relatively untapped in the national nut milk market, and the two are hoping to change that, starting locally. “Pecan milk can be Georgia’s milk in the same way that almond milk is a California product,” says Weyandt.
Their pecan milk can be used like other nut milks: Carter enjoys making chia pudding with her pecan milk or adding their chocolate pecan milk, made with single-origin cacao nibs from Xocolatl, Mexico, to coffee for extra zing. Milks are delivered fresh to homes in Atlanta on Mondays and Thursdays, which Carter suggests is “a great option, because the milks arrive on front porches all over Atlanta within an hour or two of when they are made.” They also offer one-off orders, monthly subscriptions and more, and will be partnering with local food companies such as Café Campesino and Xocolatl for holiday offerings. They’ve also moved into a new facility in Grant Park.
For such a young business, Treehouse Milk has started with a bang, but to Weyandt and Carter, it’s only surprising that no one has tapped this particular nut before.
Says Weyandt: “Georgia is the top pecan-producing state, and we’re proud of that. The pecan industry is far more environmentally sustainable than the almond industry; pecans have tons of nutritional benefits, and pecan milk is surprisingly delicious. It’s a win-win all around.”
Visit treehousemilk.com to place an order and to find out which local retailers and farmers’ markets carry their milks.
STORY: Lauren Finney
PHOTO: Erik Meadows