Full Circle Compost – Bringing the Circle of Life to Your Lawn and Garden

Composting is the process of combining unusable organic materials (like eggshells, orange rinds, bits of left-over salad etc.) and letting Mother Nature do her thing. Soon, this organic material begins to be consumed by micro-organisms, decomposing and turning into nutrient rich plant food that creates naturally healthy soil, speeds up plant growth, and is ideal for agricultural use. With a long history of dairy farming in Nevada, the process of composting organic waste became essential to sustainably feed such a large population of dairy cows. Born out of that history, Full Circle Compost began as a complementary business to Milky Way Dairy Farm in Minden, NV, in the early 1990’s.

By 1997, Milky Way Dairy’s composted products had begun to make their way into surrounding communities, creating a buzz about the magic of compost, and allowing Full Circle to become a self-sustaining entity. For the next two decades, Full Circle Compost quietly grew into one of the largest composting companies in Nevada, shipping thousands of yards of soils, compost, and mulch annually to over 20 locations across Northern Nevada, and recycling over 50,000,000 lbs of organic materials.

By understanding the biology, listening to what plants want, and pouring endless care into their products, the Full Circle Compost team is on a green mission to replenish the Earth with healthy, satisfying soil.

Cody Witt, Owner of Full Circle Compost.

But the Silver State has been slow to adopt the composting industry, with the vast majority of Nevadans instead preferring to simply throw out their waste. “Full Circle’s main difficulties in Nevada’s composting industry relate to the lack of a “recycling mindset” in our state,” says Cody Witt, Owner of Full Circle Compost. “Nevada doesn’t have any recycling mandates for organic or non-organic materials, just recommendations. Without the need to keep materials out of the landfill, a lack of infrastructure for recycling programs, and [low] landfill prices, it’s cheaper for the community to landfill over compost.”

As attitudes about recycling (and at-home gardening) began to change, the demand for properly made compost has risen. Being located in a desert climate, Nevada has the perfect environment for the use of compost, as dry, arid soils benefit most from the water-retaining organic matter. “Compost is not a heavily used product in Nevada, and creating a market for compost has been a challenge,” says Witt, “Trying to make compost “cool” and for people to see the benefits takes time. However, it is finally coming “full circle” in Nevada,” – we see what you did there, Cody.

Turning a dairy farm “side business” into the leading composting and organics materials recycling operation in Northern Nevada is no small feat, and tackling a problem that hasn’t been solved before is doubly scary. “Making the first step is the hardest part; however, doing your due diligence and testing your idea for viability before moving forward is the key to success,” said Witt.

Witt showing off the power of properly made compost.

However, an entrepreneur doesn’t have to do it all on their own. Community organizations like Made in Nevada bring together like-minded people with a passion for doing good business and helping their Nevada neighbor. “Creating a family of organizations that will help drive positive vibes and feedback to new and existing customers continues the growth of all businesses involved. Having organizations like Made in Nevada is a huge asset for any business,” said Witt.

Full Circle Compost has big plans for the next five years, including expanding their distribution channels to include more vendors in Nevada and Northern California, and increasing organic materials waste diversion in the Reno/Sparks area. With a great product and a smart team dedicated to preserving our state and planet, Full Circle Compost will undoubtedly reach its goals.

You can help Full Circle Compost, while benefiting your own lawn, garden. Now available at 20+ locations across Northern Nevada, bring your lawn and garden to life with Full Circle Compost! Order today at https://fullcirclecompost.com/find-us/

STATE 36 Blog – A Made in Nevada Brand a Century in the Making

STATE 36 Blog – A Made in Nevada Brand a Century in the Making

Morgan Gottier’s grandfather returned to Reno from his deployment in the Marine Corp. after WWII to build a family and a livelihood. He grew his family and influence in the community, helping to construct many well-loved buildings throughout Northern Nevada. Now, 70-odd years later, his granddaughter, Morgan, is elevating the same Silver State spirit that has served her family so well.

From marketing director, to stay-at-home mom, to entrepreneur, Gottier has been driven by the Battle Born work ethic imparted by her ancestors. This Nevadan identity inspired a dream to build a clothing brand that echoed those same hardworking values. “My grandfather was a very big part of my life growing up and he taught me what it means to be proud of the place you call home, the community you are involved in, the state that has provided so much for your family. I wanted to share that with other Nevadans,” said Gottier. “That history inspires me and the designs that we create.”

After her children came of age, Gottier had time to invest in her dream and founded ‘State 36 Clothing Co.’ in 2016. The name, a reference to Nevada’s inception into the United States, reflects the history and mystique of her native Nevadan family. For the next three years, Gottier began building her clothing brand from scratch. “I juggled trying to learn the clothing industry, build relationships and create a name in my community for my business. Through the help of family and friends, working long hours, and selling at pop-ups, we have grown to the place where we could open our first store front.”

But it hasn’t all been easy. Gottier’s husband created a web-development services company in 2008, but the difference between managing a service-based business and product-based business like ‘State 36 Clothing Co.’ presented new challenges. While her husband’s web-based services offered immediate solutions, there was a steep learning-curve behind understanding the supply chains and timeframes necessary to sustain a clothing company. To overcome this, Morgan reverted back to her family’s hardworking mentality. “The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that I am in charge of my destiny as a business owner,” she says, “What I put into the business equals the outcome.”

Gottier’s discipline, work, and adaptability allowed her to open up her first brick-and-mortar location in Reno’s beautiful southwest neighborhood. “Our store front has given us the opportunity for our customers to see in person the quality products we are offering and unique designs for the whole family.” Made in Nevada’s Winter 2020 BizBash networking party was held at the new Arlington Gardens store, (Made in Nevada member Tahoe Timber can be found in the same shopping center), and the creative designs and detailed craftsmanship of State 36 Clothing Co. received a lot of attention from those in attendance. “Made in Nevada has helped connect us with resources, other entrepreneurs and has helped to introduce us to new customers,” said Gottier of the statewide marketing cooperative.

The desire to incorporate as much local identity as possible in her brand coincides with the Made in Nevada mission to bring together like-minded entrepreneurs throughout the Silver State. Using local materials, suppliers, and distributors, Gottier exemplifies the ideals of the local manufacturer. “Our main priority of ‘State 36’ is to keep everything as local as possible. With the continued growth in the Silver State, we are excited to be able to source more and more products from Nevada in the future,” she said. The drive to sustain her dreams, family, and community has the ‘State 36 Clothing Co.’ brand on an upward trajectory, and increased attention from partners across the state. To combat the current economic climate, ‘State 36 Clothing Co.’ is offering free shipping on all orders while their storefront is closed. ‘State 36’ is also offering discounted gift packages (complete with customizable greeting card) to keep up the spirits of your loved ones during these times. For more information on this Made in Nevada business, visit their website at https://www.state36.com/.

Flochinni Family Provisions – Making a Gathering of Friends and Family Memorable

Flochinni Family Provisions – Making a Gathering of Friends and Family Memorable

Like much of the United States, Nevada has a rich history of immigrant families bringing their passion for food and flavor to regions unknown. This is the story of the Flocchini family, whose old-world recipes and handmade sausage techniques have been passed down over three generations and, after partnering with the Tonino family in 2015, have become a household favorite.

Made at their Carson Valley facility using only whole meat muscle and simple spices free of artificial ingredients, Flocchini Family Provisions offers one of the only clean lines of handcrafted sausage – ensuring every bite is pure taste with no filler. But a great product alone won’t lead to success, and Flocchini has had its fair share of adversity. “Our path has been bumpy, zig-zag, up and down… but [we’re] always moving forward with optimism, hard work, dedication and passion,” says Chris Flocchini, President and CEO. Low barriers to entry and finding top-tier talent to accomplish both short-term and long-term objectives of the company have been obstacles to overcome. “Convincing some amazing people to come aboard our ship… and help make our purpose come true is definitely our biggest success.”

Over four years, Flocchini Family Provisions has more than doubled its number of employees, and nearly tripled its revenue. But this didn’t happen by accident. Chris Flocchini points to the ability to be flexible as crucial in achieving your overall business strategy. “Have a really good plan A and plan B,” says Flocchini, “Be flexible on the things that you can be flexible on but don’t compromise your values.” But a business like this doesn’t reach success by flexibility and chance alone – a healthy dose of pragmatism can go a long way. Before you begin to start your entrepreneurial journey, Flocchini advises that you “make sure you are really clear about the problem you’re solving with your product or service. Just because you think it’s a great idea doesn’t mean that it is. Be prepared for that reality.”

Being a family business, Flocchini Family Provisions is all about helping others, and being a part of Made in Nevada allows them to share the wealth of knowledge and experience gained over 25 years of impassioned service. It’s this dedication and passion for helping others succeed that sets Flocchini apart. As an entrepreneur, Flocchini recommends that you “surround yourself with amazing people and put them into a position to thrive. Don’t micro-manage, but know every single detail of your business.” He’s also a proponent of maintaining your personal health as well, saying entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to take a little time to reflect on what they’re grateful for, eat well, and get consistent sleep.

With such solid leadership and a highly motivated team, it’s no wonder Flocchini Family Provisions has flourished in the business friendly state of Nevada. And in the next five years, they only plan to expand on their successes. “[In five years] We want to triple the revenue again, and have a new facility to accommodate the growth,” says Chris Flocchini, “I would like to see us in at least five major retailers and 10 sizeable restaurant chains.” If their past is any indication, Flocchini Family Provisions’ future is as bright and tasty as ever.

You don’t have to wait to get your hands on some Flocchini sausage! Visit their outlet store in Carson City for weekly deals, or order today at https://flocchinisausage.com/.

The Chocolate Shoppe by Sweet Images – Sweetening the Silver State

The Chocolate Shoppe by Sweet Images – Sweetening the Silver State

In the bustling town of Gardnerville, Nevada, lies an award-winning candy shop that takes sweet treats to a whole other level. The Chocolate Shoppe story is one of struggle, determination, and evolution – a beacon to Nevada entrepreneurs that strive to carve out their own piece of the American Dream.

Lynn Falcone has always had a passion for sweets, and dreamt of one day owning her own chocolate shop. While working in New York City in the 1970’s, she was able to apprentice at several high-level bakeries and confectionaries to learn the tricks of the chocolate trade, and continued to hone her craft until 1994. That’s when fate intervened. Falcone was working with a company that, for the first time ever, was able to reproduce photo-realistic images and graphics directly onto cakes. Though the technology was at its beginning stages, Falcone instantly saw an opportunity to break into a new market. She decided to start her own company called ‘Sweet Images’, and moved the photo-reproduction business to include cookies, chocolates, Rice Krispie Treats and more, eventually moving her business online – a bold move in those days. After struggling for a few years, Sweet Images was able to attract several large photo-gift websites, including Kodak, to sell their products. Business boomed for quite a while, until technology shifted again.

The advent of cell-phones brought with it a sea change in the film industry. As digital copies became the norm, consumers no longer needed to get their photos printed, and Sweet Images biggest customers went the way of the dinosaur. Falcone refused to sell a lower-quality product, and decided to open the chocolate shop she had always dreamed of. “I had been testing and perfecting recipes for decades! It was either open the store or get a “real” job – so we did this,” said Falcone. The Chocolate Shoppe opened in 2012, and has grown into a Gardnerville staple, winning the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year and Carson Valley Business Council Retail Store of the Year in that time.

“If I could give one piece of advice to a young entrepreneur, it would be to know your customer!” Falcone says, “Your customers will help you determine the path of your business. Listen to them – they will tell you what they want!” The Chocolate Shoppe has thrived on this advice, pivoting to new products when tastes and technology change. The ability to adapt has sustained business through lean times brought on by geography and employee shortages, and joining local organizations like the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Made in Nevada have assisted in creating brand awareness. Being a Made in Nevada brand is a point of pride for Falcone and her employees. “We are very Nevada-centric here – we love our state!”, said Falcone, “Made in Nevada is always out there trying to recommend us to potential customers. Plus, having all the “Made in Nevada” signs make our customers VERY happy to see them!”

The future looks bright for The Chocolate Shoppe, but after almost 30 years of success, Lynn Falcone is ready to see it behind her. “I would love to be retired and either sell the business, or set up the employees to manage and run it,” Falcone says. Whether Falcone is there or not, the Chocolate Shoppe by Sweet Images will continue to make unique, high-quality treats for all-ages.

Get 20% off your holiday order when you join their loyalty program today at http://www.chocolateshoppe.us/

Aloha Medicinals – From Surf to Sagebrush

Aloha Medicinals – From Surf to Sagebrush

By the time Aloha Medicinals arrived at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 2007, they had already been cornering the medicinal mushroom market for close to a decade. Originally founded in Maui, Hawaii, in 1999 by a group of scientists and health care experts interested in growing Reishi, Cordyceps, and other medicinally important mushroom species, Aloha Medicinals sole focus lied in producing a high-quality product. They were rewarded with high demand, and within three years Aloha moved into a new facility in Santa Cruz, California.

This would turn out to be quite a fortuitous pit-stop for the young company, as the new Santa Cruz facility was once the research laboratory of mushroom pioneer Dr. Benjamin Stoller. When Aloha Medicinals moved in, not only did they gain a fully qualified staff and manufacturing equipment, but they also acquired Dr. Stoller’s original research notes. This extensive research material provided a roadmap to breakthrough patents, and a few years later Aloha Medicinals found themselves seated atop the medicinal mushroom industry. With newly increased demand, and Dr. Stoller’s notes in hand, Aloha once again picked up and relocated – this time to Carson City.

Sitting at an elevation of 5,000 ft., the air pressure and climate of Carson City proved to be ideal for cultivating the world’s most potent medicinal mushroom species. In fact, Aloha Medicinals have the world’s largest privately owned collection of medicinal mushroom species, with more than 1,000 unique specimens in their culture bank. This huge amount of product allows Aloha to supply ingredients to over 700 different companies in more than 60 countries, leading to their recognition as the “2008 Exporter of the Year” by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Not only did Carson City present a perfect climate for the production of medicinal mushrooms, it also enabled Aloha Medicinals to hire the quality employees they needed. While they had retained a highly-trained staff of Mycologists, Microbiologists and Health Care Professionals, “the workforce was a large issue in California and we found the quality of employees to be excellent in the Reno/Carson City market,” said Aloha Medicinals’ eCommerce Manager Derek Rush. The move to Nevada has been great for the company in general, as continued growth has led to increased recognition in the health foods industry. “We continue to see the use of our mushroom powders in functional food and meal replacement shake category,” said Rush of the most exciting development in Aloha’s business.

Aloha Medicinals has been taking over the world, and they have no plans to slow down anytime soon. Within five years, they plan to “expand our business and bring more of our botanical product production to the Nevada location,” said Rush. With a proven product, a world-class team, and a Silver State to call “home”, Derek Rush says success really comes down to just one thing: “Have passion for your business and the results will follow.”

Get free shipping on orders over $25* on https://alohamedicinals.com/. And for a limited time, they’ll throw in a bottle of Performax Forte with ANY purchase!

Kimmie Candy – The Taste of Sweet Success

Kimmie Candy – The Taste of Sweet Success

Joe Dutra’s transition from third-generation Sacramento farmer to international candy tycoon might seem like a long-shot at first glance, but once you get to know him, it seems like a logical course of events. “It started out as a single business deal buying some candy that was stuck in an Oakland port,” Dutra says of his humble beginnings, “I purchased 40,000lbs… and a friend of mine was going to sell them for me.” But when that friend couldn’t hold up his end of the deal, Dutra began reading every book about the candy industry that he could find, and decided to start his own company. “I learned that the candy industry was recession proof, grew every year, had good morals, and there were lots of family-run businesses. I thought it was a great legacy to leave my children.”

That first purchase of 40,000lbs of candy coated, chocolate-covered sunflower kernels was the inspiration for Kimmie Candy’s now famous Sunburst Candy, and in just three short years, they had won the prestigious “Product of the Year” award at the annual Candy Grammys for their equally famous ChocoRocks. With the goal of creating more American jobs, Dutra relocated the business to Reno in 2005, and within a few years their state-of-the-art production facility was fully operational. International expansion didn’t take long after that, with distribution to Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, South America, and the Middle East.

While Kimmie Candy’s rise to the top might seem like a magical straight-shot, Dutra is quick to talk about challenges the company has faced. “Over the years we made lots of mistakes, like hiring the wrong people for our culture or developing product lines that were difficult to market,” he says of Kimmie Candy’s past struggles. “As an entrepreneur, you have lots of amazing ideas, and you fantasize about all the potential and glory in starting a business. But after a while, it just gets down to good business practices.” Those good business practices have led to continual growth, with Kimmie Candy quadrupling its number of employees over the last 10 years.

After moving operations to Nevada almost 15 years ago, Kimmie Candy joined statewide marketing cooperative Made in Nevada to be “a part of the Nevada community and its growing economy”, and, in that regard, they continue to be a leader. In 2016, Kimmie Candy was selected to represent Nevada at the first ever ‘Made in America Day’ at the White House, something that Dutra views as their biggest success. “Being able to meet the President of the United States, have him eat Nevada made candy and be able to spend the whole day in the White House was amazing,“ said Dutra, “Everything we had done before that led up to us being chosen to represent our state.”

Kimmie Candy has no plans to roll back their candy takeover. They’re currently developing a new “M&M type product” which will be infused with supplements and nutritional enhancements, as well as CBD – “as it becomes legal to use in food.” In five years, Dutra hopes to have a new, state-of-the-art, 100,000 square-foot manufacturing plant right here in the Silver State to expand Kimmie’s national sales. Whatever the future holds for Kimmie Candy, it’s guaranteed to be sweet.

Visit www.kimmiecandy.com to get some of this chocolatey goodness into your life!