Herbie Business: Nature'z Candyz + Plus Giveaway!

*This giveaway is now closed*

Today we're spotlighting another Herbie owned and operated business: Nature'z Candyz. I took several bags of Nature'z Candyz with me when I went to Mexico and they made for delicious (healthy!) snacks when I was on the go in an unfamiliar area. I also made friends with a parrot — I bribed him with some of my Nature'z Candyz. While they're all delicious,  my absolute favorite are the lime-bananaz snacks which, I know, sounds crazy, but they are SO GOOD. Who would've thought banana and lime went together?

AND Nature'z Candyz has graciously agreed to giveaway a few snack prizes to a lucky Herbie! See below for details... now on to the interview!

HH: Tell us a little bit about your business. 

Nature'z Candyz are all-natural gourmet dehydrated fruit. They are hand-crafted specialty dried fruit snacks that are made without any added sugar or preservatives. I make fun flavors like Coconut Bananaz, Cinnamon Applez,  and Lime Bananaz. I also only make what fruit is in season and I try to buy locally grown fruit when available. 

HH: What sets Nature’z Candyz apart from other brands of dehydrated fruits?

Every single bag of Nature'z Candyz was hand sliced and packaged by me. Another key factor is that my products are dehydrated and not freeze-dried, so they have a more natural flavor and texture. Nature’z Candyz are made in small batches and dried at low temperature to maintain the nutrients of the fruit.  I take pride in each batch and hopefully that comes through in the quality and the taste.

HH: How did you get into this business of selling delicious dried fruits?

It all started with my love of snack foods.  I was continually searching for healthy fruit snacks that I could take with me in the car or to the gym.  But all the dried fruits that I found were loaded with sugars and sulfurs.  So my mom bought me a counter top dehydrator that I started experimenting with.  I would put anything and everything in that dehydrator and always had so much on hand that I would end of giving it away as gifts.  It started to blossom from there. About 5 years ago, I saw a need and wanted to fill it, so I rented out a commercial kitchen and started my own website and Nature’z Candyz was officially born.

HH: Is this a full-time gig, or something you do on the side? a hobby?

Nature'z Candyz is my full-time gig, but as my hobby and side job, I teach group fitness classes, which keep me active and is my form of therapy. I teach kickboxing, Core, and Boot Camp-style classes at a couple of local gyms.

HH: How long have you been a member of the Herbie community? 

I have been a HH member for over a year, but I have been a vegetarian for almost 23 years!

HH: What advice do you have for anyone interested in pursuing their dreams of selling a perishable item like fruits or snack bars?

My advice for anyone wanting to start a food business of any kind is that it must be your passion.  As with any business, it is hard work, with many ups and downs and you must be fully invested in it — mind, body and soul. Sometimes working with food can be tricky, and there are also many responsibilities that come with working with food. Also just remember that you have to be proud of the product that you present. I believe in quality over quantity.

HH: What is the most rewarding part of your business/work?

The most rewarding part of my business is the feedback and the comments that I get from customers.  I was featured on the Cooking Channel's show "FoodCrafters," and I got an overwhelming response from that airing.  But the most touching things were all the personal comments that people wrote to me telling how much they appreciated what I was making.  They told me that they were proud of me and I helped them find something that they were proud to feed to their kids. Amazing!

HH: What is the most challenging aspect?

The most challenging aspect for me right now is balancing the creative part of the business and what I find to be the less interesting aspect……the paperwork.

HH: Does your business directly relate to your Herbie lifestyle?

Yes, I truly believe that I couldn’t be in this type of business if I wasn’t living the Herbie lifestyle. I have so much energy and enthusiasm for good quality healthy veggie food. Also I don’t think I could sustain my active days without being a Herbie!

HH: Anything else you'd like to add or share?

If you are local in the Denver area, you can have Nature'z Candyz delivered directly to you through Fooducopia's Corner Store.

Thanks Patricia for telling us about your company. (Giveaway closed)