Once upon a time, Joseph Dutra generously helped out a buddy in need. In return, he was gifted 40,000 pounds of chocolate covered sunflower kernels from Korea. He thought they tasted great and liked the idea of a candy with nutritional value. Joe had been a farmer his whole life. It would be Joe however, that would break the three-generation streak.
“My roots are in agriculture. I didn’t know the first thing about chocolate, but I took the candy and sold it from a trailer located on my farm.”
Joe did a lot of research and read, The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars. In 1999, he was in the candy business. In the beginning, all of Joe’s candy was produced in Busan, Korea because Koreans are known for a process called sugar panning. This method of applying a candy shell to well…anything (corn-nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.) is really more of an art than a food process. Kimmie Candy’s candy has a noticeably beautiful smooth and shiny finish, a perfection that is attributed to sugar panning.
In 2008, Joe decided he wanted to start manufacturing his candy in-house and brought Kimmie Candy to Reno, NV. Why candy and why Reno?
“The candy business is recession proof and it grows every year. I also noticed the morals within the business. It’s very family-oriented with good, wholesome qualities. I chose Reno because of the cool nights and dry climate for my candy! It’s a good business, candy is the best gift.”
With him, Joe brought one of the top five sugar panners in the world, Ooin Jung, his daughter Kathryn and son, John. The freestanding chocolate-brown building can be found off of Reactor Way and offers tours, something fun for the kids (heck, and adults) to see. Kimmie Candy uses chocolate that has been specially developed to please Joe’s taste buds from Blommer Chocolate. Kimmie Candy began with the famous candy coated sunflower kernels, Sunbursts. They produce silver ChocoRocks, which is the the official candy of Governor Brian Sandoval (he keeps them on his desk). You can find Kimmie Candy worldwide.
When it comes to marketing his business, Joe stresses the importance of “growing methodically.” Too much success at one time can cause problems. He has been doing a lot of research on the ever-so-changing marketing industry and all of his sources are directing him to Internet marketing.
“Do you remember Dick Tracy? When he used to talk into his wristwatch? Well, those days are here! You can compare dozens of companies right at your fingertips, whether it is through websites, Facebook, Yelp… I can do all of this on my phone, the speed is unimaginable.”
Kimmie Candy can be found on Facebook and Twitter as they begin their voyage of social media marketing. They also have a blog that shares the happenings of the inner-circle over on Reactor Way. The camera loves the 16 vibrant colors of Kimmie Candy’s chocolatey masterpieces, what beautiful pictures! Become a fan to see who is visiting, what is going on, and what is The Biggest Little’s candy man up to??