Title Image - "The Proof is in the Peanut Butter - Lessons from Jill Van Gyn"

The Proof is In the Peanut Butter | Jill Van Gyn


In this episode of The Leadership Standard podcast, host Gair Maxwell chats with guest Jill Van Gyn about launching Fatso in 2016 in the back of a health food restaurant in Victoria, BC.

Before this, Jill had graduated in 2005 with a political science degree specializing in genocide studies. Grappling with drug and alcohol addictions, Jill entered recovery in 2010 and in 2015, she completed her Master’s degree in Human Security & Peace Building with a drive to do humanitarian work. Before Fatso hit the scene, Jill describes herself as hitting rock bottom, being in a spiritual, professional, and personal crisis, and “painfully unemployed”.

Now, she has found purpose and passion with Fatso—the healthy peanut butter—and has been named BC Business Women of the Year 2021, one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Start Ups in 2020, and has confidently walked away from a Dragon’s Den deal. Last year, this B Corp Certified company donated over $250,000 in product and funding to underserved communities, organizations, and funds, and gives back to the community in a myriad of ways.

Join us for an unforgettable conversation with someone who isn’t afraid to talk about the dark side of success and has astounding knowledge around and passion for peanut butter.


  • [8:54] Jill’s experience with the dark side of success
  • [12:30] What Jill wishes people would know beyond the headlines
  • [16:36] How experience with addiction made Jill a better leader
  • [19:27] Facts about peanut butter you may not know
  • [30:55] One of the things Jill is most proud of in her career
  • [39:26] Why Jill thinks starting a business is a great way to find out what your insecurities are
  • [45:06] Jill Van Gyn’s definition of leadership

Fatso peanut butter is boosted with plant-based super fats including organic coconut oil, MCT oil, chia seeds, and flax. They’re on a mission to provide more nutrition, benefits, and flavour, spoon-for-spoon, at a cost that is lower or competitive with high-priced specialty nut butters.

Watch Jill & Gair’s Chat

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About The Leadership Standard Podcast

The Leadership Standard, hosted by TEC Canada speaker and branding expert Gair Maxwell, features in-depth conversations with subject matter experts all across the business spectrum.

Featuring thought leadership and actionable insights to challenge your assumptions – and inspiring stories of business triumphs, struggles, and perseverance that provide a motivational push – every episode of The Leadership Standard is a revealing discussion about the life of business and the business of life.

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