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.
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.
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/
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.
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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/.
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/.
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
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
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.”
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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.