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Nuts and stuff business finding success from Lake Orion

Rick Galbraith shows off some of his nuts during a visit to our offices last week. Varieties of “Castachio nuts” include cajun, zesty salt and pepper, and original. Photo by K. Crain (click for larger version)
June 22, 2011 - By Katelyn Crain

Intern for Lake Orion Review

Have you ever come up with a delicious recipe, and you're pretty sure you're the only one that ever thought of it? If so, you should seriously think about trademark protecting it. Anyways, that's what Rick Galbraith and Scott Powers did.

Rick Galbraith, co-owner of Power Nuts and producer of Castachio Nuts, has always been a big fan of snacks. However, the one snack that was always his favorite were nuts. When Galbraith would go to the store, he would often buy cashews and pistachios, mixing the two together to fulfill his preference of taste.

"I don't know what brought me to mix the two," he said. "I just did and there was something about the combination of flavors that was very arbitrary, but extremely tasty."

While he enjoyed the taste of his mix personally, he decided to share them with his family and bring the dish to gatherings.

"I always found that there were a number of snacks offered at my family get-togethers, but even so, my Castachio nuts were always eaten, and people were always enjoying them," Galbraith said.

All it took was a day of golfing to create a concept that would soon become an established business. In 2008, Galbraith and his brother-in-law, Scott Powers, were enjoying a day at Oxford Hills Golf club, when the idea of taking these tasty treats a step farther arose.

"Scott, being the attorney he is, went out and trademark protected the name of Castachio Nuts," Galbraith said. "I just thought, 'wow, that's pretty cool!'"

About three months after, Galbraith collected a list of pistachio companies to give a call and offer the idea. Germack Pistachio Co., located in Detroit, was at the top of this list. Fortunately, the president of Germack, Bill Gierman, loved the proposal.

"We worked really closely with Germack to develop all of the artwork and packaging. They liked it so much that they took the idea and ran with it," Galbraith said. "It has just been so exciting and fun the way it all worked out."

In 2010, Castachio Nuts expanded from one simple original flavor, to offering two more additional choices. These choices include Zesty Salt and Pepper, as well as Cajun Chili Pepper.

They also are available in three different sizes, including a three and a half oz., a six oz., and new this year, a 12 oz. Also, for all the health nuts, not only are these tasty treats delicious, they certainly have many health components to them.

The back of the bags call these Castachio Nuts, "Super Food". They contain heart healthy ingredients and are packed with a nutritional punch. Galbraith would say they are much healthier than a lot of other things.

Power Nuts headquarters is located at 344 Broadway St. in Downtown Lake Orion; however, the product is produced in the Germack Pistachio Company in Detroit.

Castachio Nuts can be found and purchased at many different places around the country, over 1,000 stores. Some of these places include Michigan Kroger stores and Hollywood Markets, Bushes, Cracker Barrel's around the Nation, as well as numerous party stores.

"We were fortunate enough to have come across or introduce a product that takes two very popular nuts, and combine them in such a way, with Germack's skilled expertise, that absolutely creates a flavor combination that is truly unique and absolutely delicious," Galbraith Said.

And that's about it in a nutshell. Oh, except that you can order their nuts on line at www.castachionuts.com

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