HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Holiday dinners can lead to some wild family discussions.
How about the crazy idea to go into business together – especially at this unstable time?
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory on Monday took us to the north suburbs, where three generations are openly admitting that they’re “nuts.”
Matriarch Sally Schoch is 86 years young. Her recipe for a sweet and salty treat is nearly as old as her new business partner, daughter Kari Guhl.
“If you don’t chase your dreams now, then when?” Guhl said.
“I don’t have too much more time left,” Schoch said with a laugh.
The duo shook up their dynamic in 2018. Sally’s Nuts went from free thank-you gifts to profitable grocery store grub.
“Right from the very beginning, it just took off,” Guhl said. “They just sold so many that we haven’t been able to keep up with their demand.”
The now-seasoned sellers wanted and needed a bigger baking spot of their own. You’d think that COVID-19 might have put that plan on the backburner, but instead, the pandemic presented an opportunity.
“We both shake our heads,” Guhl said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
They just opened an entire storefront in the Ravinia district of Highland Park.
“I was uh, gobsmacked!” said Brandon Schoch – brother of Guhl and son of Sally Schoch, and a professional chef.
Brandon Schoch lost his full-time cooking job when the virus hit. He knows the risk of being in the food industry right now.
“It helps that it’s a grab-and-go,” he said. Obviously, we’re not doing a sit-down service like a business, so that’s advantageous, obviously, for right now and for the foreseeable future, really.”
It is a future that includes other snacks and sandwiches, along with merchandise inspired by Sally’s teenage grandson. So there are three generations under the direction of the company’s namesake.
Would Brandon describe his mom as a tough boss?
“Uh, no. I’m not saying that because she is standing right there,” he replied.
But Sally added, “I’m surprised that they’ll work with me!”
It’s a family taking the plunge together, and so far, swimming with success.
Sally’s Nuts also fills online orders and is on the cusp of expanding to retail stores outside of Illinois. Sally Schoch works in the kitchen at least three days a week.
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