A photo of Betsy Opyt

(Photo courtesy of Erik Keller)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t took the fickleness of her then three-year-old daughter to transform Betsy Opyt, ’99, from registered dietitian to entrepreneur.

“What do you do when your child doesn’t like healthy food,” said Opyt, who resides in Naples, Florida with Peyton, her daughter, and Dan, her husband. “Because of what I had learned in my nutrition classes at Ball State, I went into the kitchen and developed some recipes. I created a healthy combination of nuts and seed butters that she loved.”

It didn’t take long for her homemade products to catch on with co-workers and neighbors. As a result, Opyt founded Betsy’s Best, a gourmet and all-natural nut and seed butter company in 2013. Her products are now available across the nation.

“I urge people to think outside the box. You never know what will happen when you open that door. One day I was a dietitian and the next I am running this successful business.”

A photo of jars of Betsy's Best gourmet spreads.

Products featured in the Betsy’s Best line include gourmet peanut, almond, cashew and seed butters. Opty said she created her nut and seed butters “with gluten free, health-conscious consumers in mind.”

Opyt was recently on campus to receive the 2017 Bill Bock Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Nutrition and Health Science in Ball State’s College of Health.

“Betsy was very academically oriented,” said Jay Kandiah, the college’s associate dean. “She was focused, a real go-getter and knew what she wanted. We are very impressed with her from both a professional and personal standpoint.”

Ball State now is partnering with Opyt on a research project to determine if her products could assist people with chronic diseases. This fall, students will design a set of recipes, blogs and educational materials for Betsy’s Best.

Opyt believes the partnership will allow Ball State students to enhance their skills.

“I dreamed about being a dietitian since I was 13 years old and came to Ball State because it had such a great reputation for that,” she said. “I really cherish my Ball State education. It has given me a springboard for my career.”

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