Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma May 2018 - Page 10

Nicki Riney is founder and owner of Rhino Pretzels in Edmond. She offers rustic pretzel bars for special events in the area. PHOTO BY KRISTY STURGILL A Passion for Pretzels : Recipe, Idea and Launch BY KRISTY STURGILL R iney started her pretzel business with a simple recipe and an idea, and now, her product satisfies any craving: salty, sweet, spicy and tangy. A few years ago, she spent time with family and friends in her kitchen making spicy pretzels and many other flavors, and at that moment she knew wanted to sell her delicious treats. “I immediately began working on packaging ideas and securing my name, logo, slogan and hired Steed Interactive (OKC) to create a professional website and an array of marketing material,” she said. She took her concept to a Food 10 May 2018 | The Business Times Entrepreneur workshop at Oklahoma State University to learn more about producing and marketing a food product. Riney recommends any individual hoping to start their food-based business to attend the OSU workshop because it was key to helping her launch. Riney said a big decision every small food-based business must make is to decide whether to manufacture their product or outsource it to a compatible co-packer. “I teetered on this idea quite a bit as I felt I was putting the cart before the horse by hiring a manufacturer before I had sold any product,” she said. “I decided that it was highly likely I was going to need to produce a large amount of product frequently, so I was either going to be spending all my time in a commercial kitchen with employees, or I could outsource that function and spend my time building and maintaining business relationships.” Rhino Pretzels currently manufactures the product at S & S Foods in Mustang. Riney didn’t know if she wanted to sell her product in chain stores or somewhere else. She didn’t think it would be possible to compete with big brands who occupy most of the shelf space, and who often