Sunshine Peanut Company Owner Recognized as 2019 State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year

In 2003, Jeff Turbeville opened the Sunshine Peanut Company, a family-owned company that produces more than 10 million pounds of wholesale peanut butter nationwide annually. He founded the business with his father, who operated a long-standing food brokerage business.

Owners of Sunshine Peanut Company and U.S. SBA Administrator Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon, former Administrator of the U.S. SBA, visits Sunshine Peanut Company

In 2014, Jeff’s brother David joined the company and, together, the brothers have worked through many challenges to propel Sunshine Peanut Company. Sunshine Peanut Company was built as a manufacturing start-up with zero revenue to a business with more than 40 employees today. Sunshine Peanut Company’s success as a small business has been so striking that Linda McMahon, former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), visited the company during her small business tour across the southeast last year.

Sunshine Peanut Company’s many successes have been a result of David and Jeff’s recognition of the importance of leveraging the right business tools and guidance and, as such, sought out the Florida SBDC at UNF for help. Jeff worked with consultant Lucy Diala to help him achieve his goals of business expansion through capital acquisition. Diala helped him map out financial projections and made referrals to the right financial institutions that proved to be a great fit for Sunshine Peanut’s growth objectives. With this help, Sunshine Peanut secured a business loan to achieve their goals.

“The Florida SBDC is indeed one of the nation’s best-kept secrets,” said Jeff Turbeville. “I would strongly recommend that businesses seeking to better manage their processes and grow, seek the assistance of the SBDC.”

Diala has continued to work with Sunshine Peanut to continually move the business forward – so much so that the company is now poised to double its capacity and increase its workforce. Due to these achievements, Jeff was selected as the 2019 State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year.

For Jeff, winning the Small Business Person of the Year award is not only an honor as an individual but a tribute to his father, who passed away last year.

“As an entrepreneur, you have to remain focused on all aspects and facets of your business. But do not feel the word entrepreneur means you are alone to figure it all out. Reach out to the SBDC for guidance and assistance as they are a knowledgeable, caring, and understanding organization of business consulting.”

Owners of Sunshine Peanut Company and U.S. SBA Administrator Linda McMahon

"The Florida SBDC is indeed one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. I would strongly recommend that businesses seeking to better manage their processes and grow, seek the assistance of the SBDC."

- Jeff Turbeville, Owner/CEO - Sunshine Peanut Company

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