Almost Nuts! Crazy Snack Food is a company that has created a healthy snack based on Non-Genetically Modified Organism (non-GMO) soybeans.
The company began as organic grain farmers that had one bad year after dealing with poor weather and broken equipment. Finally, as farmer Darren was plowing his underdeveloped soybean crop back into the ground, an idea struck him. Dry Roast these beans! Running into the house with this new inspiration at 2AM he woke farmer Jennifer up and said “Hurry Jennifer, get up and cook these” to which farmer Jennifer said “You’re crazy, I’ll do it in the morning.” Needless to say, after much research and development they now have a wonderful product to eat.
“As farmers we had little training in the business world and have loved the learning process and development,” said Jennifer Kornowske, CEO of Almost Nuts! Crazy Snack Food. “We feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with the Packer Mentor Protégée Program, because it gave us a wonderful opportunity to better understand the finical side of a
company and how it should function at a larger level.”
When Jennifer and Darren first applied to the Green Bay Packer Protégé Mentor Program they were pumped up to participate and then felt honored that their little company was selected as a protégée. At the first meeting the mentor’s event they were able to interview so many great mentors, but when they got Lonnie Charles table they knew they had found their mentor.
Lonnie Charles works for DPACC member Wipfli LLP which is an accounting and business consulting firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and accounting and business is where the Kornowske’s needed the most help.
“I began to cry. I knew we needed his help desperately and was embarrassed and fearful of how needy we were in our financial department,” said Kornowske. “All of a sudden I was personally flooded with emotion because of how inadequate I felt in the accounting department.”
Through the next year Lonnie met with Darren and Jennifer every week, rarely missing an appointment. Lonnie’s calm and peaceful personality and his dedication helped Jennifer become comfortable and willing to get more involved in the accounting part of her company, Almost Nuts!.
“Now we are more organized, efficient, and accurate in so many areas of our company because of what Lonnie was able to teach us,” said Jennifer Kornowske. “I no longer cry in the face of paper work, tax season only took 30 minutes instead of 3 weeks, inventory is accurate, and sales are up.”
Jennifer and Darren Kornowske of Almost Nuts! Crazy Snack Foods are grateful to the help which the Green Bay Packer Protégé-Mentor Program has given them, especially the help given by their mentor Lonnie Charles.
“I believe it has been a successful tool for us and wish I could continue to participate in the Packer Mentor Protégée Program because it is a valuable tool for small companies to get information and hands on education from successful people that volunteer their service to improve Green Bay and the community one company at a time,” said Jennifer Kornowske.
“This program is so valuable and I hope it continues for a very long time.”
The Green Bay Packer Mentor- Protégé Program established in 2011 to pair emerging minority- and woman-owned companies (protégés) with established, knowledgeable, and committed companies (mentors) that can provide exposure, appropriate training, resources and experience not readily available to the protégé companies.
The Packers and AFF Research, LLC, administrators of the Mentor-Protégé Program, are committed to the continuing success of the program and to the community of businesses that benefit from it.
Byline: Claire Westlie, PR Intern DPACC