CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Any company with the words "Certifably cracked" on its boxes has got to be nuts ... or at least full of personality. And Chappaqua-based bobbysue's nuts! , with its exclamation point at the end of its name and the tagline "All natural nuts with a mission," is a multi-layered story about determination, passion, family and animals.
"You really can't separate bobbysue's nuts! from the SPCA of Westchester ," explains Founder/Chairman Barb Kobren, the "bobbysue" behind the brand.
It's a story that begins in 2008 when Kobren, a Briarcliff resident then on the board of the Westchester animal shelter, was sitting around with her girlfriends thinking about ways to raise money for their beloved animal shelter.
"Everyone who knows me knows I always have a bowl of nuts out," said Kobren. "I eat them all the time." In fact, she grew up on a nut recipe made by her Aunt Frieda in New Holland, PA, and was called "bobbysue" as a child.
Someone -- Kobren doesn't remember who -- suggested bagging her nuts as part of their fundraiser, using her nickname for the branding, and the seed for the business was formed.
"We wanted to be 'grown up' all the way and do it right," explained Kobren who hired a graphic designer -- look close and you'll see the iconic girl on the packaging has an almond face and cashew feet -- and spent a lot of time on branding and packaging.
The business officially launched in 2009 funded by Kobren and her then partner Deb Mehne and has been growing in "nutty" proportions ever since. Now run by Kobren and her eldest son, Adam, the nuts are in 500-plus stores across the country, been seen in a few TV shows, and are featured in recipes at Yankee Stadium including all of the Legend's luxury suites.
What makes the nuts special? They are gluten, GMO and preservative free, made with egg whites from humanely raisied chickens and combine almonds, cashews and pecans with select spices for what the Korbens call "a satisfyingly-sweet, and healthy nosh."
There are three flavors: Original, Some Like It Hot and It's Raining Chocolate with one more in the works for release in the summer.
Giving back to the SPCA remains the priority of this Chappaqua-based business and each year the company donates 2 percent of net profits or $5,000 to the animal shelter, whichever is greater.
"We'd like it to be more," said Adam Kobren who is charged with securing investors. "But we're working on it."
Go to www.bobbysuesnuts.com/ for more information.
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