OUR SAMA STORY
Jo Pelligra never said to herself, “I’m going to start a nut cheese business.” She and her partner, Teri Beckman, became vegan at a time with few vegan alternatives available at markets. So, Jo started thinking…
With a degree in nutrition, over 30 years of experience in the food industry, and growing up in a traditional Italian family who loves food— Jo knew she could create something real good. She kept thinking: plant-based + whole foods + real nutrition + tastes great. She played around to find the right combination of healthy ingredients that not only tasted like cheese, but also had plant-based ingredients with just the right flavor and texture. Months later, Jo hit on our Cheddar Style recipe. Our Smokey and Jalapeño varieties weren’t far behind.Jo and Teri began to sell what some customers would call “Jo’s spread” at the Durham Farmers Market and slowly created a following of folks who loved– you guessed it– Jo’s spreads. In fact, that was our original name: SPREAD Knowing there were other vegan and health conscious folks looking for the foods they wanted, and wanting to give her customers the convenience of being able to purchase Sama any day of the week, Jo worked to get it into retail stores throughout the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle. Now, Sama is available in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville, and West Asheville in North Carolina. Teri works behind the scenes incorporating her expertise in strategy, marketing, and in-store demonstrations. When the time came to tweak the name SPREAD to help distinguish it from other spreadable products, and to reflect the qualities and values she and Jo hold dear, Teri, a practicing Buddhist, came up with “Sama,” a Buddhist term meaning “in balance with nature.” Ta-dah! Sama was born. Jo and Teri are proud to have Martha Dyer, Jessica Holderman, Lisa Mathews, Madeleine Pabis, Christina Raines, and Kristin Lineberry on board with us working on production, sales, delivery, and marketing. (See Our Team)
Sama reflects our intention to inspire and support healthy eating, environmental sustainability, and the ethical treatment of animals by using only whole, high quality, plant based foods ingredients. As our customer, you are part of creating our Sama story.