My friend and wildly successful entrepreneur in his own right, Scott Schrader, told me a story about his nephews years ago that is almost impossible to forget: they turned the loss of their father to brain cancer into the “setback” that served as the “setup” for their entrepreneurial pursuit of commercializing healthy nuts. Their spirit as people is as delicious as their products.
Read our exclusive Q&A below, and buy your holiday gifts of Brothers Nuts TODAY while supplies last at www.brothersnuts.com
. I am!
: What inspired you to start Brothers Nuts?
: Well, the story started in 2010, when our father was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer, given only weeks to live. Since our father was a chiropractor, our large family was already eating healthy to most people’s standards, but now he had to take his diet to the next clean level, including his snacks. So, the search for a healthy snack that tasted amazing began… But it ended when we couldn’t find one. And that problem made us turn to the kitchen.
Our talented Mom went to work, and her first effort was a mouth-watering snack… what later would be known as the Crackled Cheezy Almonds.
We would have our friends and family try our product and they all LOVED it. Once we saw our community craving for a healthy snack that tasted amazing, we went to work to make it available to everyone! Our fight went on and our prayers were answered as our dad made a full recovery.
Unfortunately, our father was attacked by cancer a second time. This time it came harder and faster than before, and ultimately, he went to Heaven.
Our family made the choice to turn this setback into a setup for the future of Brothers Nuts.
: What have been your greatest challenges to date?
: That’s a really difficult question since there are always so many challenges as an entrepreneur but finding a manufacturing facility that met our criteria was probably the greatest challenge.
We originally did our research and found 100s of facilities in the US who could produce nut snacks, but almost none of them would produce Sprouted and Organic nut snacks. So, we did another search, and this time we found 2 manufactures. We were lucky to have found one in our home state which made it the preferred choice. But this process took months of searching and calling until we found that ONE perfect manufacture.
Even after finding our manufacturing facility, it took MANY MORE months to perfect the recipes, but that’s a story for a different time.
Overall, our greatest challenge taught us to stay consistent and motivated. Although those are given, it is important to be reminded of the importance they bring. We found that tackling the issue as a team and holding each other accountable made it much easier to complete!
: Greatest unexpected successes?
: It would have to be the story of how we got on WGN-TV. It honestly came out of nowhere. We were running our FB ads and got a phone call from someone with a show on WGN, he said he loved the product and wanted to introduce us to someone there who would cover our story. We made the introduction in June and then followed up for 5 months straight. And then finally on a Wednesday afternoon, we got a call saying they wanted to come to our factory and interview us the next day since it was going to be aired on Friday morning. Luckily our plant was located in the same state, and we were able to get off of school to film our segment for the news.
The lesson that we learned here was to not be annoying, but at the same time be persistent. We would constantly think of new ways to reach out, whether that meant switching the social media platform or sending in physical mail, we made sure to be seen. Sending creative and unique follow ups to engage with your desired prospect, customer, vendor, etc. is always the way to get your foot in the door.
: If you could give fellow food entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?
: Connect with your customers! There are thousands of brands out there who produce the cheapest foods and snacks at a large scale, but they don’t have the advantage of having their brand/product really connect with the customer.
You will probably never get a call from the founder of a big-time company after making a purchase, but it’s a good possibility a founder of Brothers Nuts will give you a call after a purchase is made!
We have used simple methods like a phone call, personalized videos, or personalized notes to gain insight on our customers and to let them know we appreciate them. I encourage you to take the time and connect with your customers. Create a raving fanbase that corporations can’t replicate!
: If you were stranded on a desert island, which flavors would you choose?
: Wow, that’s a hard question to decide! They all offer amazing benefits, from the extra zinc that pumpkin seeds carry to the healthy fats in the walnuts.
But if we are going off of pure flavor, I would have to go with the Crackled Cheezy Almonds, they are our #1 bestseller, and you just can’t go wrong with them!!! The good thing about nuts is that they are packed full of nutrients, proteins, and calories… meaning they fill you up with what your body needs. Which is why they are the perfect snack!
To shop for your favorite flavor of Brothers Nuts this holiday season, go to: www.brothersnuts.com