(Photo provided: Jo Houck plans to open their storefront at 230 N. Main Street in Nashville once renovations are complete.)
Jo Houck has been attending craft shows in Charlotte since 2013 and lived in Charlotte for 14 years prior. Houck is the owner and operator of Wild Side Snacks in Nashville. “I have been a craft show vendor at shows including Charlotte Celebrates, Crosswalk Teen Center, and Frontier Days since 2013. I am the sole owner and operator of Wild Side Snacks and I aim to make quality products at reasonable prices that people love and enjoy,” she said.
Houck started Wild Side Snacks in 2017. “The Homemade Pork Rinds and Old-Fashioned Hard Candy were introduced under the Michigan cottage food laws as my first food products. The idea for Freeze Dried Candy began in 2021 and the new Canned Cake that I just started making this summer, came from Brian,” said Houck.
Jo and her husband Brian have been working on upgrading their space into a commercial kitchen since the storefront at 230 N. Main Street was purchased in March of 2022. “We have been transforming the very small building into a commercial kitchen so that I can be licensed and can provide freeze-dried items such as ice cream, fruits, veggies and other items that cannot be sold under the Michigan cottage food laws.” Houck hopes that the store will be ready to open soon – but as all things take time, so has progress on the building. “Until I can open, I sell as a vendor at lots of events in the area. Anyone who wants to order any of our products can message me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WildSideSnackss/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 517-213-3933.”
Houck has had a great deal of support from Nashville residents and has enjoyed support at the events she attends in Charlotte as well. “Mooville Creamery and the Nashville community as a whole have given me such wonderful support and the people have been so kind and helpful. Charlotte is one of my favorite towns to do events as everyone is so nice and supportive,” Houck said. She added, “I am so grateful to all my regular customers, family, friends, and most of all Brian. Without his amazing ideas and genius mind, Wild Side Snacks wouldn’t exist.”
Wild Side Snacks offers many flavors of pork rinds, hard candy, freeze dried candies, and more. “As of right now, I offer seven flavors of delicious homemade pork rinds including barbecue, hot, cajun, garlic and onion, plain, bacon and dill pickle. We have over 80 flavors of old fashioned hard candy, and over 50 different freeze-dried candies including 19 different flavors of Skittles, five flavors of Rice Crispy treats, four flavors of gummy rings, Jolly Ranchers, Nerd clusters, Snickers, Bit o’ Honey, Lemon Heads, Red Hots, caramel apple pops, Twix, caramel m&ms, Starburst, Laffy Taffy, 18 flavors of salt water taffy, fruit Tootsie Rolls, peanut brittle, gummy bears, gummy worms, and much more,” said Houck. “I am always trying new items so the menu will change often. I am also doing canned cake and have nine different flavors of moist, delicious cakes canned and sealed in canning jars,” she explained.
Houck expressed enthusiasm as she moves forward with her business, saying, “Though the past years have been filled with challenges, they have also been filled with miracles and blessings. I am now looking forward to opening my store and continuing this wonderful adventure that I am on and to serving my customers unique, high-quality products.”