FortuNuts come in four varieties: Sweet & Savory Pecans, Classic Almonds, Spicy Almonds and Luscious Cashews. Most orders can be delivered or shipped in a day or two.
FortuNuts began as a hobby. Both Melanie and Darryll come from large families. So, during Christmas instead of buying gifts for all their siblings and extended family and friends, Melanie would make gift packages consisting of roasted nuts.
The gifts were such a hit that Darryll’s mother suggested that Melanie start a business. “I laughed at the idea because I didn’t see myself as a business owner, and certainly not selling a product that I simply did for the love of it and family,” says Melanie. The couple also worked demanding corporate careers -- Melanie in information technology services and Darryll in public relations and marketing – while also raising two daughters.
Eventually Melanie rethought the idea and formed FortuNuts, LLC which officially launched in December 2011. The name, FortuNuts, was an obvious choice, combining the couple’s last name and the product.
“Our original business model was to position FortuNuts prominently in grocery stores,” said Melanie. “However, we learned that sometimes the store markups may not justify being on retailers’ shelves. Also, because this is a part-time business, we like the personalized service and want to be careful not to grow too fast and be unable to meet customer demand, so we are constantly adjusting.”
Today FortuNuts is found primarily online, via phone call or e-mail, and at Sentry Food Stores in Delafield. However, FortuNuts found wider appeal from individual and corporate group sales. Gift baskets are very popular especially when paired with wine or other customized gifts.
“We are really pleasantly surprised by the demand from organizations requesting thank you, congratulatory and holiday gifts to their friends and customers,” said Melanie.