From Jelly Belly’s to Sand Art Candy: How One Family Continues to Break the Mold in the Candy Industry

It’s obvious that working with family is dear to us through our show, with BusinessBeware.Biz and through our own businesses. Sure, it’s tough working with family but the pros far outweigh the cons as far as we are concerned. Not everyone has worked with family but many do come from families with an entrepreneurial background and sometimes that plays a huge role on a person deciding to create their own business. We asked current business owners if their parents or family members inspired them to start their business and if they do work with family to share some insight on how they work together. See what Roxanne Klein of NiftyCandy.com had to say about her inspiration for starting her business…

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Did you grow up with your parents owning a business or any family members that were entrepreneurs? If so, tell us who in your family were business owners and how they inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?

R: My Dad invented Jelly Belly’s before I was born.  I grew up in the candy business with him being an avid candy entrepreneur.  As a result of my Father, I myself have been coming up with candy ideas my entire life.

If you decided to join the family business rather than start your own, what was the deciding factor for you? If you started your own business because you didn’t want to join the family, what was the reason?

R: In 1996 I came up with an idea to turn sand art into candy. With this idea my family and I started a candy factory where we manufacture a bunch of creations my family invents.

What was the hardest thing about growing up with family members owning a business? And if you work with family, what is the toughest thing about working everyday together?

R: Working with your parents can be tricky.  It has its ups and downs.  We often think similar which is a big plus.  However since we are related, it is very easy to annoy each other.

What’s the best thing about working with family?

R: The best thing is the fact that you can always be yourself and you do not feel like you have to act differently to impress your employers.

What’s the best piece of advice you received from family members that have been there, done that?

R: Best pieces of advise would be from my Dad, who says “You only have to be a genius for 15 seconds.”  This advice makes anyone think that they can be creative.  He also says, “There is no such thing as a bad idea.”  This also helps since if you come up with one idea, and it may not be the perfect idea, its inspiration will always stay with you, and may lead one day to the perfect idea.

Tell us about Sandy Candy…

R: Our candy factory started with the idea of sand art that is candy.  We started in 1996 with about 8 flavors and only straws. Now we have over 80 flavors and a bunch of fun containers to put the candy in. Since our first product looked like sand art, we called it Sandy Candy. For years people would call me Sandy. In about 2003, we came out with Roxy Candy. Roxy Candy is a crunchy version of Sandy Candy. It is fun since it looks like Rocks, and it’s easier for people to remember my name now. :)

About 3 years ago, my Dad called me up and said he wanted to make candy pee and candy blood. At first I thought it was unusual, but we decided to do it, and it is very popular. It has also evolved into a whole line of weird candies we make.

What do you do outside of your business for fun and a way to recharge the batteries?

R: I enjoy taking pictures and hiking.  I love getting outside since I am inside at work most of the time.

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You can learn more about Roxanne and her company at NiftyCandy.com

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About

Ashley is the co-founder and co-host of Business Beware. Her passion is learning the background of how and why a business started and of course bringing a little laughter to business owners everyday. Proud member of the YEC too.

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