Our Story


Jo Pelligra, Co-Founder of Sama SPREADJo 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 the current Sama SPREAD Cheddar Style recipe, and our Smokey and Jalapeño varieties weren’t far behind.

Original SPREAD Logo

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 SPREAD any day of the week, Jo worked to get it into retail stores throughout the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle. Now, Sama SPREAD is available in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville, and West Asheville in North Carolina.

Terri Beckman, Co-Founder of Sama SPREADTeri 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 adding “Sama,”a Buddhist term meaning “in balance with nature.” Ta-dah! Sama SPREAD was born.

Jo and Teri are proud to have Martha Dyer, Jessica Holderman, Erika Lewis, and Madeleine Pabis on board with us working on production, sales, delivery, and marketing. (See Our Team)  

Cheddar Style Sama SPREADJalapeño Sama SPREADSmokey Sama SPREAD

Sama SPREAD 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 SPREAD story.