We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Pappas, Robert Blakely and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex Pappas, Robert Blakely, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Both Robert and I have worked in different roles in the cannabis industry. We found a common problem in edible consumption. Most people do not know that cannabinoids are fat soluble. Meaning you need some sort of fat in your body to help ingest the cannabinoids efficiently. During my time working in dispensaries I have countless stories of people who had the idea if they ate an edible on an empty stomach they would get a better buzz. I assumed this idea came from consuming alcohol on an empty stomach giving you a stronger buzz. While this could not be farther from the truth, it makes sense people would equate this between cannabis and alcohol. So education needed to be done, explaining how cannabinoids need fat. In comes Hemp Nuts. What better way to ensure you have some fat in your body than paring the cannabinoid in this instance CBD with peanuts. Hemp Nuts offer an all in one snack that give you protein and CBD. This combination is a great way to recover after any out door activity as well as provide substance to an empty stomach and ensure efficient ingestion of CBD so the user can maximize the benefits of CBD in their bodies.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We have learned a lot on this journey to start up a new company, let alone a CBD company. We have learned so many lessons along the way that have continued to prove invaluable as we progress further in Hemp Nuts success. Just over a year ago we were the “back pack peanut boys” pushing an ice cream cart selling peanuts at farmers markets on the weekends. Today we have successfully launched nationwide in Sprouts and various retailers around the country. In addition to e-commerce sales Hemp Nuts can be found in just about every state in the country. This did not come without its trials and tribulations, We have had to learn on the fly how to deal with all the different aspects that come with starting a business. Things like taxes, insurance, sourcing ingredients, and packaging on a large scale all had to be done in a short period of time to ensure we were shipping product in the correct manor and on time. This involved a lot of long days and nights and back and forth with various people and businesses. Our resiliency is what has kept the story alive. We managed to prepare 2 tons of peanuts by ourselves in one week, eating multiple meals in our production facility and leaving each day absolutely drained. Hemp Nuts are a product we firmly believe can help show people the benefits and power of CBD and what is possible when it comes to the next generation of snacking and recovery.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When friends come in town we always want to make sure they get to experience things they do not have access too in their cities. Fortunately Denver provides a lot of options for that. Trips to Meow Wolf are quickly becoming a favorite experience for friends and family. Food wise, you can find us at Fire on the Mountain for some of the best food around. The house made sauces at Fire on the Mountain are always crowd pleasers, with bi-weekly specials and a sauce of the month there is always something new. Rockies games followed by nights out around LoDo, places like One Up, Retro Room, and Tap Fourteen are some of our favorites. Can’t forget a Red Rocks show, Denver has one of the best music scenes in the country and Red Rocks always delivers an unforgettable experience. We also do annual ski trips up in Breckenridge with childhood friends which gives us an opportunity to experience the Rockies and have fun at places like Breckenridge brewery.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost we wanted to give a shout out to our parents for their continued support and encouragement as we continue to learn and navigate the nuances of starting a business.
As well, all of our friends who have been there from the beginning tagging social media posts, sporting Hemp Nuts shirts, and purchasing product along the way. Making sure we keep going when times have been tough.
Without any of these people we would not be in the position we are today.
All the images come from us internally, besides the leaf 411 partnership photo which we have written consent to use.