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Meet Brett Davis of The Nut Garden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brett Davis.

Hi Brett, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
23 years ago, I was a student at Utah Valley State College. A brand new company called the Nutty Guys had set up a booth in one of the halls at this school and they were selling dried fruits, nuts and seeds. I liked the product and the idea they had created, so I called the owner and asked him if I could sell his products in Salt Lake City. We would split the profit of all the sales that I made and I would be in charge of delivering the products to my customers. I started out riding my bicycle from business to business with a price list in hand. I had some success selling ingredients to local bakeries. This led to me registering as an s-corporation, and I grew my distribution business for 18 years distributing almost exclusively Nutty Guys products to hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and whoever else would have me. As the Nutty Guys grew, expenses grew and cash flow became an issue. I was not getting the product that I needed in order to run my business. Eventually, the Nutty Guys went out of business and I was in a position where I had to choose between finding another career or adapting my business to meet the needs of my current customers. I chose the latter. My wife came up with the name “The Nut Garden” and she also created the logo. I scrambled to source products and hired an employee that had worked for the Nutty Guys and we rented a small portion of the Nutty Guys former facility and started packaging our products and continued to service our customers the best we could. We were also providing products for some of the other former distributors of the Nutty Guys, as they were in a similar situation as myself. The Nut Garden continued its rocky path forward and I was getting overwhelmed. My facility was too small and I needed help running the company. I called up my first delivery driver who had set up his own distribution business in Colorado, sold it and bought a Kneaders Franchise. The timing was good for him as he was just getting ready to end his Franchise and he moved back to Utah and jumped on board. My wife found us a building in Bluffdale close to both our homes, and we jumped on it. The building was so visible from Bluffdale that we thought we would try a storefront to add to what we were doing. The move has been a great one. We love our new facility and being in Bluffdale.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not a smooth road at all.

My main supplier (The Nutty Guys) going out of business and going bankrupt.

NuttyGuys was bought by Maxfeilds candy who supplied for me and then went bankrupt and out of business.

Maxfeilds was bought by Mrs. Feilds Gifts who attempted to supply for me until they couldn’t make the margins work and they dropped that part of their business.

Several large companies that I worked with went bankrupt and left me with unpaid invoices of over $200,000.

During this time I usually had babies at home. We have 8 children, one autistic and some with other challenges.

In our first facility, we had a pallet of Pecans delivered to us with a Moth infestation. That caused problems.

Many times the idea of a 9 to 5 job seemed very appealing. I wanted to be able to go home to my family and not have the responsibility of keeping a business together in the back of my mind.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Nut Garden?
The Nut Garden has evolved into a multifaceted business. We are primarily a manufacturer and distributor of Snack foods. We specialize in Nut Based products along with dried fruit, seeds, gummies and chocolate. We have delicious chocolate and a chocolate enrober. You can come to our store and often view the chocolate products coming out of the cooling tunnel. In the front of our warehouse, we created a fun retail store with our products along with local Utah products made by companies we supply to. Besides the Nut Garden Brand, we have the Sweetables Brand, which is an assortment of cute, gifty, jars of candies. We also have the Nut Gutz brand, which is an assortment of fun, tasty nut butters. Our storefront also has been recently designated as the Utah Truffles/Mrs. Calls Caramels outlet. Every Second Saturday, we have truffles and caramels seconds sale. We are trying to get the word out that we are a store and not just a warehouse. We also have a website. Locals can order on the website for pickup and skip the shipping charge.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
The Webgility app helps us a ton with the would be mundane order entries.

With eight kids, we have a nightly scripture/education station and prayer. We use Prager U that we can access on Youtube to help our kids learn good principles.

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