BIG SANDY — Big Sandy Organics recently won this year’s Trailmix competition presented by Albertsons during Boise Entrepreneur Week.
The company, known for its popular "Kracklin' Kamut" roasted wheat snacks, earned $50,000 along with shelf space at the Albertsons' Broadway Avenue Store in Boise, Idaho.
Big Sandy Organics owner Heather Dilworth said, "We started working for Bob Quinn in 2016. We worked with them for a couple of years and we approached him about buying the company, and we just felt like we wanted to go big and have some national distributors."
Big Sandy Organics general manager Thomas Dilworth said, "It was pretty incredible. Obviously, the money was a huge incentive, but for us, the main reason we went was for the opportunity to work with Albertsons'. We feel like we can do well there, we think we're very tailored to the customer that shops at Albertsons. That was the main goal, and we are excited for the opportunity."
Big Sandy Organics was founded by Bob Quinn in 2015. The Dilworths bought the company in November of 2020 - during the height of Covid.
Heather noted the challenges of buying and operating a business in the midst of the pandemic.
"2020 was a pretty rough year, for everyone," she said. "The Paycheck Protection Loan offered by Trump was a huge miracle in our lives. It's literally what kept this business going during that year, and we signed papers to sign Big Sandy Organics on November 20th of 2020."
It was just months ago where they were at risk of closing down after some challenges. It wasn't until machine distributors Bill Scott and Nick Brooke, who enjoyed their products, encouraged Michael and his wife Heather to enter the competition.
"It was a rough last six months," Thomas said. "When we bought the business, we had two employees. We went from two to five, and from five to eleven, and then back to zero, about two months ago, and we were about two weeks from shutting doors, and we were very fortunate to have what I call a 'guardian angel' come into our lives and start helping to promote our product, and next thing you know, we were getting phone calls from all over. They are the ones that put us in touch with our competition. We were thinking of shutting the doors due to bankruptcy, but now, I think the future holds a lot."
Heather said they plan to use a portion of their winning money to experiment with new flavors: "For a long time, we've had people want us to make a spicy Kamut, so we've played around with salsa and sriracha, and we'd also like to bring back our salt and vinegar that we once started, but didn't finally produce and start selling."
Thomas noted, "I think we have some partnerships that we'll be able to announce in the next couple of months hopefully that will pretty much change the game for us. Maybe upscale our line a little bit, and become a little more efficient and deal with some of these other major retailers such as Costco, and some of those."
Click here to visit the Big Sandy Organics website.
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