The economy is cratering. Credit is non-existent. People are serious, and seriously worried.
What a great time to start a new company! Especially one with a cute name, dedicated to all things cashew.
That’s what three local entrepreneurs have done. And if Yumnuts sounds like an even funkier version of Bear Naked, there’s a reason: Yumnuts co-founder/CEO Tyler Ricks helped build the Norwalk granola company into a $45 million behemoth.
Yumnuts sells 6 varieties of all-natural flavored cashews: chocolate, toasted coconut, honey, sea-salted, spicy Cajun and chili lime. They hope to capitalize on the new nut-positive food pyramid; on their niche offering all-natural, flavored nuts without added oil — and on a desire for Americans to say “yum” again.
“More than ever, people are pessimistic and negative,” Tyler says. “They’re putting their dreams on hold, not taking time to say ‘yum.’ We’re trying to sign up a group of ‘yumnuts’ — people who are pursuing their passions.”
Tyler is nuts about passion. A high school All-American and college Division I soccer player, he still competes on Westport’s Over-30 squad. He also coaches his daughter’s travel team. Little things like that bring joy — er, make him say “yum!”
“So many people get stuck in a funk,” he says. “The next time you drive past a playground, get on a swing and pump as high as you can. You’ll get a smile on your face. I get the same feeling when I strike a good shot at Wakeman.” And when he goes to work building a fun business amidst a miserable time.