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Here’s How This Mother-Daughter Duo’s Side Hustle Became One of America’s Most Loved Pretzel Brands

Stellar Snacks also has "one-of-a-kind artwork" in each of its packages, "making them a canvas for something truly stellar."
Cover Image source: Pretzel | Unsplash | Photo by Pierre Gui
Cover Image source: Pretzel | Unsplash | Photo by Pierre Gui

The journey of the vegan artisan snacks company, Stellar Snacks has been awe-inspiring. What started as a side hustle founded by the mother-daughter duo of Elisabeth and Gina Galvin in 2019, has now become one of the most loved vegan snack producers in the country.

Stellar Snacks has become famous for its pretzels and roasted nuts. The company also has "one-of-a-kind artwork" in each of its packages, "making them a canvas for something truly stellar."

Representative Image | Unsplash | Photo by Markus Spiske
Pretzel (Representative Image) | Unsplash | Photo by Markus Spiske

Stellar Snacks produces vegan and non-GMO snacks with ingredients that are natural and sustainable. The company has a mission to involve the community, protect the environment, and advocate for minorities.

The certified woman-owned business is listed under the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) and stocked in 5,000 grocery and retail supermarkets across the country. The artisanal foods include four unique flavors of pretzels, which are available as in-flight snacking services on Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, and American Airlines as well.

Elisabeth Galvin is also the founder of the snacking brand Delyse under which Stellar Snacks operates. Galvin started Delyse as a side hustle in 1992 and it has since developed into a nationwide gourmet snack supplier. In an interview with IBT, Galvin said that she started by buying three authentic copper kettles from Italy, which were too big for her kitchen. Thus, she started producing her signature roasted nuts from her garage while looking for a bigger place. She soon obtained a business license and established "Delyse Inc" (a play on the word delicious in French).

She further shared that it took about two months for the company to start earning revenue after all the equipment was installed and running. Their product, Thoz Nuts was selling for $1 a bag at the time and they managed to sell over 1,000 bags during football games. Soon, they were picked up by Reno Air which brought Thoz Nuts on board raising their sales to 20,000 bags per week. Further, in 1995, Galvin had the idea to sell advertising space on her bags to offer the products as a free snack to airlines and win new business. This brought in clients like United, American Airlines American Eagle, Northwest Airlines, Skywest, and many more.

Soon after their snacks were in the air, Delyse opened their bakery and started offering the Stellar Snacks pretzels to airlines. The list of clients included United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue. At the same time, their in-store distribution grew from local stores to national accounts.

Last year, the Nevada-based snack company laid out plans for a new production facility at the former Black Leaf Chemical Site. At the time, they said the operations would start in 2024. The company made a $137 million investment and created over 350 full-time jobs over the next 10 years, The Courier-Journal reported.

As the operations reportedly began in Spring 2024 with the new facility, Stellar Snacks became the largest pretzel bakery in the county, per Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery. Furthermore, the central location of the facility enhanced the company’s ability to reach the eastern and southern parts of the US.