Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma May 2018 - Page 11

Rhino Pretzels offers unique flavors like bacon cheddar, sugar cookie, dill pickle, barbeque, pizza and cheesecake. PHOTO BY KRISTY STURGILL carry the most brand recognition with consumers. “I would likely get one foot of bottom shelf space and have to try and compete with the “big boys” like Rold Gold and Snyders who occupy a large amount of premium shelving,” she said. Riney decided to take a different approach to selling her product. She knew children in school activities have to participate in several fundraisers every year. “Because I have two kids, I know that groups and organizations who fund raise were always searching for something new and enticing to sell. So, I launched Rhino Pretzels in 2015 primarily as a fundraising company,” she said. The strategy was effective because it garnered the amount of exposure she needed to expand into retail establishments. She decided only to sell her product in gourmet stores and other specialty outlets who carry “Made in Oklahoma” products because she could continue her fundraising campaigns. Gourmet Gallery placed the first wholesale order for her pretzels. Customers can choose from unique pretzel flavors like cinnamon toast, cheesecake, chili ranch, dill pickle, and barbeque. “I am proud to represent a little piece of Oklahoma in places that have a large amount of tourist and visitor turnover,” she said. Customers can purchase Rhino Pretzels at Tulsa International Airport, Hard Rock Casino in Catoosa, Okla., Tourism Visitor Centers, and AC Hotel in Bricktown. She said her product is versatile, and she is often exploring new opportunities like partnering with local breweries and wineries after SQ 792 goes into effect this fall. She even creates rustic pretzel bars for weddings and events with a barn or farmhouse theme. As she grows her business, she is also looking for new ways to give back to the community because the contribution to important causes is a part of her vision for establishing the company. “I plan to continue to get our costs down and our business to where I can designate a percentage of each unit sold in a fundraising campaign as a donation to the local food pantry in the town or city in which the fundraiser takes place,” she said. “One day I hope people see the name Rhino Pretzels, and not just think of the quality of our product, but also think of our contribution in helping fight hunger.” Riney advises any new entrepreneur to reach out to other local food-based businesses. “I am always willing to share things I have learned along the way that helped get Rhino Pretzels to this point. I think the biggest piece of advice I received, and I actually gave to myself, and that is to make sure you are not so focused on where you want to be in 5 - 10 years that you miss the journey getting there,” she said. You can learn more about Rhino Pretzels visit https://www.rhinopretzels.com. May 2018 | The Business Times 11