Stellar Snacks
Stellar Snacks are stocked on Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and American Airlines. @Stellar_Snacks via Instagram

Elisabeth and Gina Galvin are a mother and daughter duo who founded snacking company Stellar Snacks in 2019. The artisanal snacking empire, based on two plants in Northern Nevada, boasts pretzels and roasted nuts.

The mother and daughter business is dedicated to involving the community, protecting the environment, advocating for minorities and is home to more than 170 employees.

Since the company first launched, Stellar Snacks has become a certified woman-owned business, listed under the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) and stocked in 5,000 grocery and retail supermarkets across the US.

The artisanal foods, which includes four unique flavour of pretzels, are also available to buy online and can be obtained through an in-flight snacking service on Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and American Airlines. The four unique flavour of pretzels include: Simply Stellar, Maui Monk, Bold & Herby and Sweet & Sparky.

Elisabeth Galvin is also the founder of snacking brand Delyse, a leading supplier of gourmet snack products which started as a side hustle in 1992 and has since developed into a nationwide delicacy. In an interview with, the Elisabeth said that she "moved to the US from the South of France, chasing a dream of becoming an entrepreneur."

Stellar Snacks
Stellar Snacks has become a certified woman-owned business, listed under the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC). @Stellar_Snacks via Instagram

What do you enjoy most about working as a mother-daughter team?

Elisabeth Galvin: "Gina and I share an unparalleled bond of trust and unwavering support, fostering a collaborative environment where ideas flourish, and challenges are conquered together."

What were some of the first steps you took to get your side hustle off the ground?

Elisabeth Galvin: "I knew that to succeed with this opportunity, I had to scale. I ordered three authentic copper kettles from Italy to perfect my craft. They were too large for my kitchen, so I started to roast in my garage while I looked for a bigger place. I secured permits, obtained a business license and established my company "Delyse Inc" (a play on the word delicious in French)."

"I established that there was a demand, and now it was time to grow my production capacity. I found a location that was previously a CVS store, and I made a deal with the landlord."

How long did it take you to see consistent monthly revenue? How much did the side hustle earn?

Elisabeth Galvin: "It took two months to start earning revenue once I got all the equipment installed and running. I was selling Thoz Nuts for $1 a bag and selling 1,000 bags per game. Every single football game sold out. In the third month, Reno Air came through on its promise and brought Thoz Nuts on board. I started by making 20,000 bags per week at $0.50 per unit."

"In 1995, I had a new idea to sell advertising space directly on my bags in order to offer them as a free snack to airlines and win new business. This made waves in the travel industry and brought in airline clients like United, American Airlines American Eagle, Northwest Airlines, Skywest and many on-premises venues at the airports."

"Within five months, our bakery was operational, and Delyse started offering our bespoke Stellar Snacks pretzels to United Airlines then Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue. Our in-store distribution of Stellar Snacks also grew from local stores to the West Coast, then national accounts."

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while building your side hustle and how did you navigate them?

Elisabeth Galvin: "Besides the challenge of balancing my course load with my start-up, my main business-related challenges were establishing credit with vendors and suppliers and getting equipment financing. I opened a bank account with a credit card that had a $500 credit limit. This allowed me to get started pre-paying my vendors."

"Once I earned their trust and proved that I was performing, I was able to establish net 30 credit terms, which is ultimately what you need to scale a business."

"Another challenge was finding employees. In my communications class, I had a lot of classmates from the baseball team, and I convinced them to come to work with me because it was a good workout — roasting is a lot of work and a very hot environment. Then I hired my first full-time employee, who still works with me 30 years later."

What's your advice for others hoping to start successful side hustles or full-time businesses of their own?

Elisabeth Galvin: "Create a strong business plan and make sure you secure your first customer before taking the plunge to cover your overhead."

"Entrepreneurs are risk-takers and it's okay if you don't have it all figured out because clarity comes as you go. Learn from people you trust, surround yourself with dedicated team members who understand "start-up mode," study your industry, acquire valuable data and nurture genuine partnerships with your vendors, banks and customers by being honest, transparent and sharing your vision to sow the seeds of success."

"Believe in yourself and your mission... "It truly takes a village, and the people who know your story will want to support and see your growth. While the journey will have its challenges, the fulfilment derived from perusing your passion is immeasurable."