Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Giddy Up Nuts

Giddy Up Nuts founderWe all get the Sunday scaries sometimes. Whether it’s the final day of vacation or after a particularly relaxing weekend, no matter how much you love your job, the life of leisure is always more preferable. A few years ago, Kristy Mangia was struck with that familiar sense of dread about returning to her job at Disney Corporate (definitely not the happiest place on earth) when driving back from Mammoth Falls, a resort town in the Sierra Nevadas. Her caravan of vacationers stopped at a roadside gas station, and Kristy hopped out for some snacks. As she surveyed the aisles, all she could see were sugary, processed, fatty bags and packages. Now, she was both stressed about work and totally hangry.

Back in the car, Kristy mused about finding her dream job, something that she could look forward to every day. Inspired by the failed mini mart stop and her love of cooking, she told her friends about the seasoned almonds she made for family gatherings—healthy, filling, and easily transportable. The supportive group immediately hopped on the idea and started brainstorming names for her potential new company. With George Strait crooning in the background, Kristy tossed up Giddy Up Nuts.

As soon as she got home, Kristy started researching permits and even contacted a designer from her office to ideate logo and packaging concepts. Sourcing ingredients was a little easier since almond groves were in nearby Bakersfield. And her local Calabasas farmers market provided most of the herbs and spices, with a few fair-trade suppliers filling in the gaps.

Kristy finally opened a stand in that same Calabasas market, with the goal of one day getting into the local Blue Table artisanal shop. As fate would have it, Blue Table was one of her very first wholesale clients. Now only five years later, not only has she left Disney, she’s built a nice line of products which include five flavors and she also donates a portion of all profits to the ASPCA and Humane Society. Most recently in the fall of 2018, she was asked to join a team of LA makers to represent the area at Paris’s Le Bon Marche and La Grande Epicerie.

From what we’ve heard, the French don’t have a term for “Sunday scaries.” At least they’re nonexistent for Kristy now. She sleeps well.