This Johnson & Wales Student Wants To Fundamentality Alter The Way You Look At Snack Food
Davian Watson is crazy for flavored nuts.
Well, actually he’s loko about them.
A junior at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Watson is also the founder and CEO of Loko Nutz.
He’s a constant presence at local farmers markets and is hustling to get his unique product out to the masses.
A Kansas City, MO native, Watson says that Loko Nutz was created out of boredom for his usual go-to snacks.
We recently spoke to Watson about his company and what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur in the Magic City.
RISE NEWS: How would you explain what Loko Nutz is to someone who has never heard of them before?
Watson: Loko Nutz are outrageously flavored nuts designed to help families and friends live a little through snacking guilt-free. The recipes originated from a combination of my Kansas City culture and newly developed pallet for Miami cuisine. I also use customer feedback to create new outlandish flavors via Facebook and in-person suggestions at my farmer’s market booth.
RISE NEWS: What have you learned from starting a business?
Starting a business has taught me the importance of maintaining an organized schedule in my personal and professional life so that Loko Nutz can develop and expand. It is my responsibility to ensure that I am performing well in school and at work as a student assistant for a high volume department so that my business will continue to grow.
RISE NEWS: What are the biggest challenges with your business?
Currently, my biggest challenge is my lack of knowledge about the business world. I want to already be at the top of the small business owner market, for everyone to know about the Loko Nutz brand, and to instinctively think Loko Nutz whenever a snack craving rises—but I know it takes years of hard work and dedication to become a household name. Therefore, I guess you can say that my second challenge is my lack of patience.
RISE NEWS: Is it hard starting your own company as a young person?
Starting your own company at any age presents its own unique set of challenges; but with determination, ambition, and the right support system, I have found myself reaching new heights and learning new information every day!
RISE NEWS: How are your sales? How are you getting your products out to the public?
I am overwhelmed at the positive responses I have received from the Upper Eastside Farmers Market, my peers, and chefs here at Johnson & Wales University. Currently, I am working on the anticipated December launch of my online store, www.lokonutz.com, and expanding my social media presence. I currently sell at Upper Eastside farmers markets located at Legion Park on Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
RISE NEWS: What does your family think about you starting your own business?
My family have been my biggest supporters and advisors. They believe with hard work and persistence anything is possible. It seems they cannot get enough of Loko Nutz!
RISE NEWS: Do you have any friends who help with it or is it all just you at this point?
I have a dedicated group of friends that are my go-to people whenever I am testing out a new flavor that will potentially join the Loko Nutz menu. Fortunately, I already know that no business gets to the top on their own and I am extremely grateful to those who have taken time out of their day to give feedback on packaging ideas, tasting new flavors, and even driving to the Upper Eastside Farmer’s Market to purchase one, two or three bags of Loko Nutz.
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