There’s a new candy man in town, and he’s importing sweets from all over the world.
Bocandy, a monthly candy subscription service, received a $5,000 investment last month from Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids.
The startup delivers imported and premium candies to its customers.
The company purchases candy in bulk, ships it to subscribers and includes an insert explaining the sweet’s type and source.
Bocandy purchases candy from countries all over the world: Iceland, Mexico, Thailand, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The type of candy ranges from Hitschler Softi taffy from Germany to mint licorice from Iceland.
Each delivered package is roughly 6.5 ounces, and the cost for the monthly subscription is $10.37, which includes shipping.
For an individual, purchasing premium candy at a select amount can subject the order to international mailing fees and lead to up to $35 for shipping, according to founder Walter Blake Knoblock.
“We have a lower price point, more product and draw from around the entire world,” Knoblock said.
Knoblock was hooked on entrepreneurship after getting a taste with his self-published book, “The Great Lakes Book Project,” and working with companies at Bizdom, the startup accelerator in Detroit.
The idea for Bocandy began with his selecting a service that most people would enjoy and require little initial out-of-pocket investment, Knoblock said.
“Most people like candy,” Knoblock said. “It’s something comfortable, safe, tasty and fun. It’s a treat for people.”
Using his experience at Bizdom and self-publishing, Knoblock built a social media presence and was able to acquire roughly 50 subscribers in the month of February.
“I’ve developed a large social media following of my own of around 100,000 people, plus relationships with other online personalities, which allow rapid, cost-effective growth,” Knoblock said.
He also plans to explore branding options that will encourage social sharing through distinct packaging and shipping materials.
“The initial investment is really going to help set the marketing base,” Knoblock said.
He went on to say one of the reasons he approached Start Garden was for support in driving a brand message and a creating a relationship with the team.