OY: Being a certified organic company is hard to do and maintain. How did all of this start and why did you choose to go the organic route?
SP: I know, right? Haha. It was for my kids. One of my kids is allergic to red dye, gluten and some nuts. I’m one of those crazy moms that keeps a close eye on everything we eat. Making a cotton candy that is certified organic, gluten free and vegan is a treat that I can give my kids with no worries. All of our dyes come from a food source and everything is nut free (except for coconut). The quality of the ingredients we use are waaay different than a lot of what’s available in the market. It’s sugar, but it’s good sugar. Also the further along we got with our brand, the more it made sense to carve out a niche for ourselves in the “organic” category.
OY: What was your first flavor?
SP: I love Hawaii. Hawaii is my dream! Our very first flavor was pineapple. Then we went on to make the other flavors. Coconut, Lychee, Mango, Watermelon, Salted Caramel, Mac Nut and seasonal flavors Pumpkin and Peppermint.
OY: You guys are from Orange County (CA) but you have a strong Hawaii connection. Tell us about that.
SP: It was all because of Street Grindz! We started out in Southern California with our more “Hawaiian” style flavors and there wasn’t as much interest. So we connected with Street Grindz and they were like “You can totally do Eat the Street“. So we literally just upped and moved to Hilo, started doing the Hilo Farmers Market and eventually I would travel back and forth from Big Island to Oahu to do Eat the Street and other farmer’s markets.
Spun Paradise also sells their flavored sugars so you can rent (or buy) a cotton candy machine and make it fresh yourself.
OY: Huh?!! I can’t believe you picked up and moved your whole family from SoCal to Hawaii, and bounced back from Big Island to Oahu on a weekly basis, just to do Street Grindz, in the name of cotton candy. Wow!
SP: Hahaa! Yeah… we’re crazy.. and it was awesome! We met so many amazing people, we did 7 farmers markets a week and were able to sell in stores as well. We were in Hawaii for just 18 months but the business got bigger and we needed to move our operation for better shipping and production costs. So we upped and moved again to Arizona. We miss the beach and we miss the color green (haha) but it’s better for the biz and our kids have cousins here so it’s good for them as well.
OY: That’s a very motivating and inspiring story. You have three kids, one on the way, your husband has his own career as well as helps out with Spun Paradise, you home school your kids, you cook home made meals every day…. It’s like anyone reading this can have no excuse to move somewhere different or just take chances to create a new business venture. Where do you get your drive?
SP: I’ve always been the driven type, but my kids are the biggest motivating factor. We want them to learn the value of hard work and we have to lead by example. They already have their own lemonade business they want to start at farmer’s markets, so that’s a good start!
Spun Paradise products can be purchased online at www.spunparadise.com and will make amazing gifts and stocking stuffers this season. Don’t forget they have their seasonal flavors like Peppermint (our fave). Use code word ONOYUM for free shipping until December 14th!!!
Photos taken by Neens and shot at the beautiful and colorful Saguaro Hotel Scottsdale.