WE LOVE NUTS! And our nuts taste like CRAFT BEER! We are growing our startup and scaling and we want YOUR NUTS TO TASTE LIKE BEER, TOO!
About this project
Greetings! Melissa and Cheryl from Hops and Nuts here... we are the purveyors of CRAFT BEER FLAVORED SNACKS!
What? Yup.... Craft Beer Snacks....
We started this NUTTY adventure three years ago and we are so incredibly grateful to all the fans of Craft Beer who have supported our business so far... breweries, retailers, bottle shops and cideries. We know we would not be where we are today without the love shown by the Craft Beer and local source community!
Hops and Nuts started with desire and a passion…well, actually, WANT. For years, we had enjoyed local artisan roasted redskin peanuts at a local watering hole in Greensboro, NC… suddenly they were gone. We traveled, internet trolled and clicked all in hopes of finding a replacement…great ingredients and great taste. Our efforts unearthed the perfect raw product…North Carolina grown peanuts by Jack, our personal peanut farmer. During our bianuual pilgrimage to Ocracoke Island, NC, it all came together while making a batch of boiled peanuts…the pot water was low and all we had was a fresh Bell's Two Hearted Ale in hand to save the batch. EUREKA! We decided to take these fresh extra large North Carolina redskin peanuts and swaddle them in the best thing on earth ~ CRAFT BEER!
Hops and Nuts Craft Beer Roasted Peanuts were born and quickly became a favorite among craft beer and peanut lovers across the state. You see, the beauty of our product is not just the great, innovative flavors and crunch of this healthy snack but in the ability to provide an all local sourced, handcrafted product. We have identified the major genres of craft beer and have created a perfect pairing for that beer... Like Shuga Heff for wheat beers. Shuga Hops for IPA's. Chocolate Porter for porters, stouts and even red wine! And don't forget Peppa Nut for Pale Ales and Cervezas!
Whether it be local craft beers, fresh grown hops and of course, the actual peanuts, North Carolina sits in the epicenter of the craft beer movement in the South so we have AMAZING access to great raw materials!
OUR NEXT STEP
After three years creating, testing and cooking our Craft Beer Flavored Redskin Peanuts in a 14" stir fry pan in our home kitchen and restaurant kitchens, we are ready to find a way to help increase production and output but remain artisan! When looking for production improvements, we knew it was imperative that we find an alternative process machine that made our nuts EXACTLY the same as we do, just more of them at one time.
There is NOTHING more important to us than quality, taste and freshness!
THE FAMILY BUSINESS
Hops and Nuts is truly a family business. While the original recipes were created by Melissa and Cheryl, bringing our hobby to "The Market" was the idea of Melissa's mom, Joyce, AKA, Momma Joyce and sister Hillary. Momma Joyce, who we lost a few weeks ago, was integral to establishing our packaging and product development systems. Hillary is THE STYLIST... overseeing our art, displays and festival setups and she is our ultimate CHEERLEADER!
Our extended family... friends and former sports teammates get in on the action, too... Every Wednesday night, we all get together and package, seal and box our orders for the week. It gives us all a sense of teamwork that we had been missing as we no longer play competitive softball together... We couldn't get our product out the door without them! And the commitment they all make to Hops and Nuts is humbling and inspiring.
HOW IT WORKS AND OUR VISION
Hops and Nuts is growing with every passing day. We work with craft breweries, cideries, growler and bottle shops and are now shipping to adjoining states Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and are opening accounts in New York, Florida, Georgia. And we ALL know how much Craft Beer is growing across the nation! We travel to Craft Beer and Wine Festivals teaching people about great Beer Pairings and about local source artisan snack foods.
These festivals also give us the opportunity to spread the word about our innovative product, meeting brewers and craft beer lovers that help us hone our flavors and even develop new custom private label programs We discovered gift basket and wedding favor markets and have forged lasting retail partnerships with cafes, coffee, and wine shops.
Our demand is increasing, so is the need to increase the amount of production. Our products are made to order as we can't make enough to carry an actual inventory and stunting our capabilities!
LET'S DO THE MATH...
Melissa can cook 11 batches of Craft Beer Nuts in one day and falls down exhausted afterwards, LOL. One batch makes approximately 4 pounds of nuts. Each batch takes 38 minutes to cook from start to finish. Then, the nuts must sit for a few hours to be cool enough to package into 2.5, 5 or 8-ounce pouches.
During the cooking process, she needs to continually stir each pan to ensure nuts and sugar don't scorch or burn.
Savage Brother's FireMixer-14 Table-Top Automatic Electric Cooker Mixer. A used one is non-existent in the marketplace we found out after searching for months and months and the answer to our scaling dreams left us with STICKER SHOCK!
Here is how our production will increase: The FireMixer 14 has a capacity of 20 pounds so will make five of our regular batches of Craft Beer Peanuts at one time. It took Melissa all day to make 44 pounds of nuts and as you can see, if she did 11 batches in a day, Hops and Nuts suddenly has 220 pounds coming into inventory in one day! And as a plus for continued growth, during the cooking time, Melissa is freed up to package, return sales calls, prepare orders and experiment with new flavor profiles, beers and products!
WHAT DOES KICKSTARTER MEAN?
Kickstarter is more than a fundraiser... it is the life blood for small, women or minority owned businesses. It fills the gap between conventional but most times unobtainable funding. It represents a new proof of concept and scaling that will allow us to expand our Craft Beer Snacks to include BREWZELS, Craft Beer Pretzels.
Risks and challenges
Many obstacles and pitfalls exist for small businesses raising capital and expanding. Kickstarter is real time, real life vehicle to take a WOMEN OWNED business to a viable enterprise that we intend to remain a family and friend inclusive venture and legacy for decades to come.
We want to ensure our customers see that we take as big of a risk as they do investing in Hops and Nuts Craft Beer Flavored Peanuts.
The cost of the FireMixer 14 is $9,500. Please know what we are only hoping to fund half the cost...we have scrimped and saved the remaining cost and have the money held aside to complete the purchase.
If by divine grace and generosity, our loyal customers, friends, and fans help us exceed our goal, we will contribute all funds to paying for the machine.