Nebraska candy scientist uses grandma’s recipes for next-generation snacks

Nebraska candy scientist uses grandma's recipes for next-generation snacks

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Tessa Porter has a nice job.

The Nebraska native was always interested in food and how it’s made. In high school, she worked for a caterer and then earned a master’s degree in food science.

“I’ve been studying sucrose crystallization and got really nerdy about spinning protons on sugar molecules,” she said. “That just put me through the hole to get into the candy industry and never looked back.”

As a candy scientist, Porter shines in a male-dominated field. She previously worked for a Chicago-based company where her work creating NERDS Gummy Clusters won awards including: Product of the year in the candy category and Most innovative in sweets and snacks.

But Porter wanted to go home.

“There aren’t many big candy factories in Nebraska, so I knew it might be something we should create,” she thought.

She opened her laboratory, sprinkle, in Omaha where she makes candy for other companies. Here she also launched her own brand, normas, a few weeks ago. The brand combines Porter’s expertise and her grandmother’s passion for holistic health and wellness, and real, whole ingredients.

“We didn’t originally plan to go into retail, but putting it at Albion ThriftyWay gives (Grandma Norma) the opportunity to go into the store, see her name and see her story on the shelf. “

“And I think there’s a lot of pride in that,” Porter added.

She plans to grow Sprinkk into a full-scale manufacturing facility in Omaha, producing candy for startups and bigger brands around the world.

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