River City Six – Charlotte Ralston
Meet Charlotte Ralston, owner of R.U. Nuts Company and Ahroma Specialty Coffee (www.runutsco.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
R.U. Nuts Company is our wholesale snack and candy distribution company. We have packaged and bulk nuts, dried fruits, gourmet chocolates, and trail mixes (which we make in our facility). Ahroma Specialty Coffee is our small batch coffee roasting company. We do custom roasting and labeling, and carry all the major brands, such as Big Train, Dr. Smoothie, Torani, Davinci, Monin, and more. We deliver to Omaha and Lincoln businesses, and we ship everywhere!
How did you get started in the business?
Selling nuts and dried fruits out of my home was one of a few ways I found I could earn an extra income as a stay-at-home mom. It blossomed into more opportunity over the years, and then into a full-blown business.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Balancing home and business, especially as my family grew and the business grew. I was always stretched in both directions.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Thirty years ago, and still today, you won’t find a lot of women in the grocery or coffee roasting industries. I’m thankful that, as a woman and a small business owner, I’ve been able to work with small and large companies in both industries.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have been married 38 years. We have five sons who all grew up working in the company, two of whom still work for us. We also have eight grandchildren.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Giving up my career in education to stay home and raise my sons.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Play with my grandkids! I also like to read, play the piano, and be outdoors.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
When I started a coffee roasting company, I didn’t even drink coffee…but I do now!
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“My Favorite Things” by Julie Andrews from the movie, The Sound of Music.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I were more organized. Creative minds are rarely tidy.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Some form of education. Whether it’s with kids or adults, I love to share ideas and discuss things, stimulating the mind.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
We support several, but in Omaha we’re very passionate about Rejuvenating Women. They’re a faith-based organization that provides hope and restoration for those enslaved in human trafficking.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
No Ego by Cy Wakeman. I highly recommend this book in relation to business and everyday life. Cy Wakeman is an Omaha-based author who specializes in reality-based leadership.
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Crane Coffee. I love their flavored coffees!
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?