Chesterfield Towne Center has gotten a little nuttier.
The Nutty Bavarian Cafe, a licensed brand that sells Bavarian glazed pecans, cashews and almonds, along with coffee, pastries and fudge, opened last month at the Chesterfield mall.
The new store took over the 600-square-foot space formerly occupied by Cinnamonster.
Owner Keith Holm is the local licensee of the Nutty Bavarian brand, which launched in 1989. There are more than 1,000 Nutty Bavarian locations in the U.S., according to the company, whose stated goal is “to enable licensees to make money selling cinnamon glazed nuts.”
Holm has years of experience backing his new venture. He owns a total of four Nutty Bavarian kiosks in Charlotte, Raleigh and Myrtle Beach. The Chesterfield Towne Center shop is his first traditional storefront.
Holm said he expanded to the Richmond area to team up with his father, who lives nearby and introduced him to the Nutty Bavarian brand more than a decade ago. At the time, Holm and his sister ran an antiques and candy store in New Jersey. Holm’s father owned a Nutty Bavarian cart and suggested Holm sell the glazed nuts in his store. They were a hit.
“The nuts sold more than everything,” Holm said.
After moving to North Carolina, Holm worked various jobs before deciding to return to Nutty Bavarian. Now, he said he sees potential in Chesterfield.
“The area is up-and-coming,” Holm said. “I have high hopes for that mall.”
Holm said glazed nuts sell well at malls because there’s a lot of foot traffic and the snack is easy to eat for shoppers on the move.
“When you cook them they smell so great,” Holm said. “There are enough indoor malls to keep it going.”
Chesterfield Towne Center is anchored by Sears, Macy’s, T.J. Maxx and JCPenney and has a plethora of other retailers and eateries. The mall has been owned by Rouse Properties since 2013.
Holm would not say how much it cost to crack open Richmond’s Nutty Bavarian. He did say the effort was self-financed. Holm travels among his nut-selling operations and has workers who manage each shop while he’s on the road.
Holm said he’d like to open more Nutty Bavarian locations in places like Maryland and Potomac Mills in Northern Virginia.
“We’re hoping to head up the East Coast,” he said.