This Small Business Owner Is Nutty | Small Biz Marketing Specialist

This Small Business Owner Is Nutty

“Small Business Stacey” interviews Jessica from Jessie’s Nutty Cups about what she is doing to grow and market her business. Click the video below to watch. This was recorded in a very dark room, and because I’m wearing a hat you can’t really see my face (maybe that’s a good thing LOL), but don’t let the poor video quality scare you away. There are AMAZING small business marketing lessons to be learned in this interview.

Stacey: Hi, everybody. This is Small business Stacey. If you were to ask me what would put me in my happy place, it would be three things. One would be being around a lot of small business owners. Two would be having chocolate, and three would be having a glass of wine. I’m happy to tell you, I am in my happy place right now because I have all three. I’m in New York City this weekend going around meeting a lot of small business owners. Today, I have Jessica here and we have chocolate and wine. We’re going to have a conversation about Jessica’s business. Jessica is with Jessie’s Nutty Cups, is that correct?

Jessie: Yup. That’s correct.

Stacey: She makes these amazing chocolate peanut butter cups. I found Jessica on Alignable which is the site where small business owners connect. She had heard my story about how I used Groupon to take my business from $500 thousand in debt to a 7 figure profitable business. She wanted to learn more and I, when I checked out her profile and saw this amazing cooking chocolate, I said, “I want to know more about that.” We’re going to sit here and have a conversation today so I can learn more about Jessica, her business, and what she’s doing to market herself as a small business owner in New York City. Join on in and I hope you learn something. Cheers Jessica.

Jessie: Cheers.

Stacey: Jessica, tell me about how did you get into making chocolate?

Jessie: I totally fell into it. A friend of mine was having a going away party and I felt like I should contribute something and I found a random recipe for these peanut butter cups which I made and people really enjoyed, but I for some reason felt like I should make them better because they were just a little too sweet. I don’t know. I just wasn’t happy with them completely and I am obsessed with chocolate. I started experimenting a little bit in bringing them to work and people tried them. Eventually, people started asking for them and saying they’d pay. I said, “Great.” That’s kind of how it grew. At first, of course, I charged like nothing. Then once I realized, “Oh wait, I have to pay ingredients, packaging, time.” That took a long time for me to consider in the price. Slowly it all started developing. I came up with my stock flavors and then I have my monthly or seasonal flavors.

Stacey: Great! What is your most popular one?

Jessie: Probably the Oreo one’s really … The Oreo, the dark sea salt, the original of course. Those are right off the bat the most popular. Once people try the PBJ cup, that becomes their favorite.

Stacey: This is like an eeni-meeie-miny-mo thing I’ve got to say. This is what, this is your 8 pack?

Jessie: Yes.

Stacey: You can get a sampling. Do you do any kind of chocolate of the month kind of thing where somebody could get different flavors every month? I understand that you ship these, right?

Jessie: I do. I actually have a subscription service. You’ll get boxes for cheaper as well. They just come to you automatically every month. You can do either a box of 8 or 15. You kind of can pick if you want to do the same flavor every month, or if you want an assorted box every month. I ship without question September through May. Once May hits, I write everyone an email saying, “Summer’s happening. Shipping is a bit tough, so you can decide to have yours suspend until September again, or I’ll just keep shipping to you, or I’ll send you three in September rather than just the one to make up for the summer.”

Stacey: What’s your big vision plan? Where do you see Jessie’s going?

Jessie: That’s hard.

Stacey: Am I going to see you lit up on Times Square eventually?

Jessie: I don’t know. That’s a little expensive. I would like to have my own little store front at some point. Kind of a similar, but not quite as stark of a setting as Melissa’s Baked by Melissa, you know her mini-cupcakes?

Stacey: Oh yeah, I saw that. Okay.

Jessie: Her’s is very clean and white. My store would be similar in size, at least I think, but it’ll have a more of a kitcheny, homey, crazy feel. I can totally see that happening. Maybe I’ll offer wine because they do go really well with wine.

Stacey: There you go. Co-branding. I want to dig in. I think we should sample some of these. Let’s grab this guy over here. He looks king of hungry. He’s been eye-balling this Oreo one, so we’re going to have him taste it.

Jessie: I am going to tell you, I don’t dehydrate the peanut butter in any way, so it is gooey, and it’ll probably squeeze out. If you don’t think it’s melted, it’s not. Just know that that’s happening. People sometimes when they don’t know, they’re like, “Oh it’s melted, but I love it.” No that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Speaker 3: Just one big bite?

Jessie: Whatever you want.

Stacey: No, cut it in half. I want to see the little. It is … oh my God, that’s … Wait, what’s in the middle?

Jessie: The other part of the Oreo. I twist them apart and I put the bottom cookie with the crème filling on the bottom and then top it off with the top cookie, just to make some more work for me.

Stacey: Do you taste both? Do you taste chocolate, peanut butter, and Oreo?

Speaker 3: Yeah. Do you want the other one?

Stacey: I want to take a taste.

Jessie: Oh you were able to break it. Well done.

Stacey: That peanut butter is rich.

Jessie: Thank you.

Stacey: You said the peanut butter is home made.

Jessie: Yes. I make my own peanut butter.

Stacey: This is not like Reese’s peanut butter cups at your 7-11 guys. This is good stuff. There’s a gentleman sitting over here. Would you like to taste?

Speaker 4: Sure.

Stacey: I know you like dark chocolate right?

Speaker 4: Sure.

Stacey: Come on over. You guys, these look so good.

Speaker 4: What am I trying?

Stacey: Dark chocolate with sea salt. I’m not kidding you, those are so good.

Speaker 4: Tell me about this one.

Jessie: That’s the dark sea salt. It’s basically a regular dark chocolate base with peanut butter filling and dark chocolate on top and sprinkled with sea salt.

Speaker 4: Sounds like a winner. Is it going to squirt out at me?

Jessie: Probably. The nice thing about these is you can put them in a fridge if you want a firmer inside, or if you want to feel like a 5 year old and get to lick your fingers, then you keep them at room temperature.

Stacey: Good?

Speaker 4: Wow.

Jessie: This is why I do this. This reaction, right?

Speaker 4: Oh my God. It’s like-

Stacey: I know right?

Speaker 4: It’s like 20 flavors in one cup.

Stacey: I mean this very seriously. Have you considered going retail like Whole Foods or the upper end stores?

Jessie: I’ve thought about it. I don’t know if I want to get so huge that I can’t handle it. It’s important to me to stay hand made. I do think there’s a big difference in machine made things and I think you can taste the love. I know that sounds corny and cheesy.

Speaker 4: I agree. You can taste the love in the hand made.

Jessie: Thank you. If Whole Foods at some point, then one location. I don’t know that that nation wide, I don’t know that I could do that and keep it-

Stacey: It changes the business model.

Jessie: I do want to keep it a personal experience. I don’t want them to become the next Reese’s because that’s not the tier that they’re … They’re on the more gourmet chocolate snack.

Stacey: I have to ask. Have you ever had a chocolate peanut butter fiasco. Have you burned down the kitchen? Or did your chocolate melt all over the place. Tell me your worst story.

Jessie: Well I’ve made a batch of peanut butter and in the process of carrying it to storage … The way … I share a kitchen with a restaurant currently. Their storage is in the basement. Every tie I go in, I have to carry everything up and then I have to carry it back down. It has happened that either the jam … The jam happened once or twice and the peanut butter’s happened once where I’ll try to carry too much at once which is silly, but whatever. I do it. One of them topples over and then of course it’s all over the place.

Stacey: If you’re feeling you’re having a bad day as a small business owner, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there done that.

Jessie: For sure.

Stacey: Tell me your most successful story. Did you have a client that ordered 10 thousand of these? What’s your best success story?

Jessie: I had my first order for client gifts last thanksgiving which was really exciting. He got a really great deal because I was just so excited that I was like, “Okay, I’ll deliver for free.” As I was delivering I’m like, “What was I thinking.”

Stacey: What did I do?

Jessie: That was really exciting. That kind of really helped me have the confidence especially from the feedback that they were getting from their clients that this is really something special and something that people really enjoy.

Stacey: This can make a really great holiday gift because they come in this wonderful box. Although this has Jessie’s logo on it, you can have your own branding on it. This can make really … I’d imagine that the holidays are going to be a really great time for you.

Jessie: Yes.

Stacey: I don’t know if you have seen this, but on the inside of the box are the pictures of all the different kinds. It’s kind of like the Godiva chocolate.

Jessie: Where you have a little menu so you know what’s what.

Stacey: Yeah. Wow, this is really great. Was there anything in your past where you said, “I’m going to grow up and be a small business owner”?

Jessie: No, not at all.

Stacey: It just sort of came about where people sort of asked you? You made a great recipe, and not only did they ask for it more, but they said, “I’m willing to pay for it.”

Jessie: Well eventually because I said, “I can’t afford to do this for you anymore.” They were like, “Oh, okay.”

Stacey: Take my money.

Jessie: All right. Gladly.

Stacey: These are absolutely delicious. Jessica, tell everybody where and how they can learn more about you, the product, the ordering.

Jessie: I have my website, where you can order any and all boxes. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Twitter is not my strong suit so don’t rely on that completely. You can find me that way as well.

Stacey: What’s your Facebook handle?

Jessie: Jessiesnuttycups. Same with Instagram. I try to post little videos and stuff when possible. Order away. It usually takes me … I need a minimum of 24 hours to get the box ready for shipping, then I’ll ship out right away. I try not to ship Thursday, Friday, and then Saturday, Sunday because I don’t know what kind of warehouse they’re going to end up in on Sunday. That way I know they’ll arrive in good condition.

Stacey: And as a side, if you’re in New York City I believe, she will deliver.

Jessie: Yes. I will deliver to you or you can come pick them up from me in Harlem.

Stacey: Jessica, so nice to meet you. Thanks for sharing your story. I have no doubt. Forget Reese’s from here on out. This woman is taking the peanut butter cup world. Bye everybody, this is Small Business Stacey. See you next time. Bye bye.


About Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money. Stacey is the founder of Small Biz Marketing Specialist, THE go-to place for marketing tips, techniques and strategies that get results. Stacey is also the creator of the Daily Deals for Massive Profits Training Program, an online video training program that teaches small and local business owners how to use daily deal sites like Groupon to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn’t!) and spending time with her amazing husband.


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About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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