It was just about two years ago exactly that I made the commitment to form Hotchkiss Pecan Foods and the Wutta Nut! Pecans brand of savory roasted pecans. I’ll get to why we started this business in a moment.
I come from a long line of Hotchkiss’s in the business of manufacturing one thing or another, here in the US and abroad. There’s H. G. Hotchkiss of Lyons, NY and his prize-winning essential oils business. The French company Hotchkiss et Cie in Saint-Denis, Paris, founded by American Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, built everything from drive shafts to military jeeps to luxury cars and racers that won the Monte Carlo Rally six times between 1932 and 1950. Benjamin B. had first made his fortune as a US arms manufacturer. (His widow founded the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut.) Then there’s the E. H. Hotchkiss Co., one of the country’s first manufacturers of staplers. In Japan, Hotchkiss is synonymous with the word stapler.
There’s a lot of us in smaller businesses as well, from real estate to insurance to farming. Especially farming. One of those farmers is another H.G. Hotchkiss, my uncle, who has a pecan orchard operation in Georgia.
The Birth of Wutta Nut! Pecans
I grew up in Iowa, a long way from the pecan-growing region of the US. Every fall my uncle would ship a 100-pound gunny sack of pecans in the shell to us by train and Dad and I would go get them from the train depot. I must have been about 5 when I learned to crack pecans by hand.
Then, I’d help Mom make numerous holiday treats with them. After the first of the year, she’d start adding pecans to savory vegetable dishes and salads, and her favorite, chocolate chip cookies.
Sometime shortly after the pandemic struck, I started thinking about whether or not I was ready for a new adventure. You see, this isn’t the first business I’ve built or helped to build from scratch. Two are still going strong today. But Hotchkiss Pecan Foods is the first manufacturing company I’ve built, although it’s presumptuous of me to call it built. Building. We’re a long way from what I see we can become.
Having grown up eating pecans nearly year-round, I know how delicious and versatile they are. It doesn’t hurt any that they’re also filled with minerals and vitamins. So many people only know pecans as a sugar-coated holiday treat or as part of a rich dessert. As Aunt Patricia advised me, the world does not need another Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. I want to introduce people to savory roasted pecans and all the many ways they can enjoy this native American tree nut.
What’s in This Blog
In this blog I plan to share with you serving suggestions and gift-giving ideas, plus give you information about pecan nutrition, storage, and related topics, so you can always make knowledgeable decisions. We’ll also announce new products and other company news here. From time to time, I’ll give you a look behind the scenes of this company, writing about how we operate, our company mission, and our values.
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