Steamboat startups: Nutterly cookie snaps are unique but familiar treats
Established: June 2014
Employees: 3 founders, 4 part-time staff
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Nutterly cookie snaps are unique but familiar treats
Steamboat Springs — When the unlikely trio of Steamboat Springs baker Lisa Ciraldo, 38, and part-time residents Rory Delaney, 70, and Peter Robinson, 68, created Nutterly, there were a lot of long nights of packaging and perfecting.
“And drinking lots of wine,” said Delaney, who, along with Robinson, are retired from successful executive careers in the food industry, working for companies including Pillsbury, PepsiCo and General Mills.
The retired friends were introduced to Ciraldo a year after she closed up shop at Chocolate Soup, a pastry café she ran at The Steamboat Grand and in downtown Steamboat.
The three were all looking for a new food venture, and Ciraldo had the idea for a simple nut-based cookie snap.
“We came up with this concept of sweet and savory treats and snacks,” said Delaney, who splits his time between Steamboat Springs and Florida. “Nuts are incredibly delicious and incredibly powerful.”
The trio liked that the product felt both familiar and unique and had no heavily processed ingredients, and they agreed to market the snaps using a simple, clean label.
The first batches were prepared in Ciraldo’s kitchen, and the recipe was tested with Colorado Mountain College students before bringing it to the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market.
With four main ingredients — nuts, cane sugar, egg whites and salt — the finished cookie is flavorful and naturally gluten free.
Once the group got the positive feedback it was seeking, they purchased a Copper Ridge Drive unit and converted it into Sweet Air Bakery, an FDA approved facility to manufacture their cookie snaps.
The product was first sold locally at Steamboat Springs Meat and Seafood Company, The Homesteader, Wild Plum and the Drunken Onion, as well as Natural Grocers in Steamboat, followed by other chain locations.
Nutterly’s pistachio, almond and hazelnut cookie snaps are now available in two sizes and in more than 130 stores across the country, but the cookie creators still place a lot of weight on frequent product tastings to get their cookies into the hands of new customers.
“The product tastes great, and that’s what we’re selling,” Robinson said.
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