Browsing blog archive for October 2008.
Here is an article on Osmanium that appeared in the October 16th, 2008 newspaper.
Big dreams from beans By KRISTINE HANSEN Special to the Journal Sentinel Posted: Oct. 16, 2008
Who he is:
What he does:
Owns Osmanium, which makes chocolate-covered espresso beans
John Osmanski's boutique candy empire got its first jolt during an all-night video game session at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, before he was even a student there.
"I essentially made a big pancake of chocolate and coffee," he said.
Osmanski, 27, is the founder and owner of Osmanium, a Milwaukee company that produces chocolate-covered espresso beans under the names Jitter Beans, Crackheads and Crackheads2.
He still loves to snack on the chocolates, which are sold in 1.3-ounce boxes at local stores, including Outpost Natural Foods Co-op, Beans & Barley and Koppa's Farwell Foods.
"If you don't love it, what's the purpose?" he said.
Who he is: John Osmanski
What he does: Owns Osmanium, which makes chocolate-covered espresso beans
Crackheads is what Osmanski and his MSOE classmates - he graduated in 2006, with a degree in biomedical engineering - called people who tried to function without a morning cup of coffee.
One box of Crackheads2 / Jitterbeans chocolate-covered espresso beans, he says, is equal to the caffeine in six cups of coffee, 7 1/2 energy drinks or 11 cans of cola.
Since starting his company in 2004, Osmanski has expanded it from a handcrafted operation to a large-scale company.
While he used to make the chocolates on a double-boiler in his kitchen ("just to see if anyone would like them") and print the boxes at a local Kinko's, today he employs a team in Madison to assemble the boxes, and the chocolates are made at a plant elsewhere in the Midwest.
In September, Osmanski signed a deal with another company to make and sell customized vending machines (dispensing a handful of his chocolates for 50 cents) to universities, hospitals, stores and other businesses.
So far, the venture has sold a couple hundred of the machines.
"I don't know if this would happen if I were in, say, Texas," Osmanski said. "I like this city a lot. The traditional way of business does apply, but there's so many other methods. You can use your friends and family as a test market, for instance."
It's all a far cry from his first business, a skateboard shop in Wales that he sold after a year to concentrate on college.
"Everything is happening all at once," he said.Posted in Press
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