Brennan Elsas and Tara Keith began their WKU experience as student athletes, and their desire for healthier food options sparked the start of their business, Gone Nuts.
“We started the business over a year ago (2015) as we are truly passionate about health and fueling our bodies with real food. We saw a lack of healthy nut butters made without nasty oil, refined sugar, and preservatives. We decided that we could fill that gap, and we did just that,” Elsas said.
Gone Nuts is an all-natural nut butter company. The products are made fresh with the highest quality ingredients. They currently sell peanut, cashew, almond, and pecan butters.
Brennan comes from an agriculture background. He enjoys and values the business side of the industry, and sought a way to combine those interests. For this reason, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business (Agribusiness) through Ogden College of Science and Engineering. His minor is in marketing.
“I previously was an education major. After starting Gone Nuts over a year ago, I quickly changed my major to social media marketing as I fell in love with the creative aspects marketing had to offer,” Keith said. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in social media marketing in the Gordon Ford College of Business.
The Gordon Ford College of Business offers a wide array of resources to support student success in the business field. Some of these resources include the Center for Professional Selling, Small Business Development Center, and the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
“The business college, specifically the Center for Entrepreneurship has aided in our success. They have informed and led us towards competing in competitions such as Topper Tank and Bucks for Bright Ideas,” Elsas said.
Topper Tank is an elevator pitch competition in which students with a business idea or invention may present a 90-second pitch to business professionals. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students at WKU. With Bucks for Bright Ideas, the Kentucky Innovation Network recognizes individuals and teams each year with funding, support, and mentorship to support their great ideas.
What would you say to a student considering attending WKU?
"WKU is a great place to grow with individualized attention if you are willing to put yourself out there. Get involved, be it a sport program, club, and anything else Western has to offer. Most importantly, use your resources while you have them."
"The good Lord will lead you in the path he wishes you to take. Jump on for the ride, work hard, and trust Him. Without our Lord and Savior, none of this would be possible."
Name: Brennan Elsas Tara Keith
Major: Agriculture Business/Minor in Marketing Social Media Marketing
Hometown: Lincoln, IL Naperville, IL