Cal Poly Students and their Thriving Establishments
The food and beverage industry has witnessed a launch as well as a tremendous expansion in business by none other than Cal Poly students.
In 2008, Nicole Chamberlain and Andrew Macaluso, two graduates from Cal Poly toured the state to test-market and put up for sale a palate-cleaning beverage called SanTasti which is their senior project invention.
In the same year 2008, their product won first prize and $15,000 in Innovation Quest contest conducted by Cal Poly post which their company has manufactured 100,000 12-ounce bottles in SanTasti Classic and Cucumber flavors.
Although Chamberlain did not reveal the profits or annual incomes, he said that since 2009, in every 6 months, the company has expanded sales by twice the figure. They have over 70 accounts now ranging from coffee joints to winery tasting rooms (businesses we’d love to get our cup holder in).
In their research they discovered that palate fatigue contributed a lot to how a person assessed the quality of wine and hence they settled to make a palate cleanser.
In the coming year, the company has plans to come up with a novel packaging and introduce another bottle size of 750 ml to sell their beverage and put in your drink holder. They are also thinking of launching a new flavor and entering into the fine restaurant scene.
You can find Santasti at many local tasting rooms and wineries. Additionally it can be found in few states particularly in Northern and Southern California on the Central Coast.
Leah Post, Cal Poly business major has by now put into practice the theories she’s learnt and takes in from class work with ease. She manages a successful gourmet candy business named Brandini Toffee.
Post and close friend Brandon Weimer, who is an entrepreneurship major at Arizona State University started the business four years back. Presently, Post manages the business, public relations and marketing whereas Weimer has taken up the role of the chef and develops their growing product line.
Maggie and Justin Post, and Angela and Brad Weimer, Post’s and Weimer’s parents are also partners. When the students are away at school, they administer the gourmet candy shop and 5,200-square-foot Rancho Mirage manufacturing plant.
Their parents covered the initial business costs, but Leah Post and Brandon Weimer have repaid them and also established a profitable business. Now more than 50% of their sales are online (like a lot of wheelchair accessories) and compared to the previous year, this year their revenue has increased by 37%.
Brandini Toffee sells and ships candy internationally via their online store. Locally, they sell it at their Rancho Mirage candy shop, at 50 other retail stores all over the country and also at Costco locations of South California.
In 2008, Post and Weimer were featured on “The Martha Stewart Show”. This July, they also appeared on an episode of the show “Chef vs. City” on Food Network.