Will Lyawe-Parsons has always known he’s wanted to be an entrepreneur, a creator of business and jobs and with the help of Mike Stull and the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at Cal State San Bernardino (IECE), he is closer to that reality than ever. What he didn’t know is that a nut would take him there.
Will who exercised his competitive nature as a track athlete and Discus while he studied pre-med at UCLA, did a great deal of research on digestive and GI tract issues. Moving to the Inland Empire, he saw an article in a business magazine that ranked IECE very highly in the nation and decided to reach out to its Director, Mike Stull.
“I had some great conversations with Mike and he gave me some good advice and connected me with potential investors and other resources,” Will said. “I also attended several events and got great information that expanded my network.”
Tiger Nuts are a tasty snack with a subtly sweet taste that also takes well to treatments like smoking and flavoring. Will started Sweet Aya Bites to bring them to the pantry shelves across America.
“Tiger Nuts have several health benefits,” Will continued. “Including being a great source of fiber for gut health. They are rich in antioxidants and are allergen-free. But most importantly they taste great especially when we add flavors to them.”
Tiger Nuts are also good for the environment needing approximately 95% less water to produce than almonds. That’s especially important in agricultural areas like California where water is scarce and crops that use comparatively low water volumes could be an alternative to some existing agricultural products.
Numerous studies and media reporting have demonstrated that consumers want to buy products from companies that align with their values, so it is likely that environmentally conscious consumers will find the low water use of Tiger Nuts to be an attractive reason for purchasing them.
“Of course, we are focused on making a great-tasting product,” Will said. “But the mass retailers we approached were adamant that the environmentally-sensitive nature of Tiger Nuts be a significant part of the marketing strategy so it will be as we go forward.”
Sweet Aya Bites expects to have the Tiger Nuts, which will launch will four flavors, Sea-Salt, Smoky Barbecue, Spicy Siracha, and Dark Chocolate Covered, in several recognizable regional retailers in the coming weeks.