Kenneth Collins | How I Built My Empire From Candy

Written By ConTina May + Photos By ConTina May

ConTina May conducted an interview with Kenneth Collins Jr., owner of KB Snacks and Confectionery. This establishment was opened in December of 2000. KB Snacks and Confectionary is a candy and snack store. Kenneth has been an entrepreneur for a long time, and even as a young man had a drive to create a brand of his own. Here’s what Kenneth had to say…

Contina: What made you want to go into business for yourself?

Kenneth: Well I had a friend of mine and he was actually in the vending business, and he was just telling me about it and how you can make some money with the vending machine. So I just went off and bought my own machines, and once he gave me the opportunity and showed me how to go into that business that just branched me off into other things with snacks, sodas, chips, and etc.

C: What inspired you to want to become an entrepreneur knowing the risk?

K: I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I’ve always looked up to my uncle who was an entrepreneur and a doctor as well. From the things he have taught me and the things I’ve seen seen him do made me want to go out and make my own money versus me working for someone else to get money. Therefore I wanted to be the boss of whatever I did.

C: What were your financial strategies in starting your business?

K: Financially wise I did not take out any loans, I had money saved from other things I have done in life. I also had an uncle who had a lot of money and he helped me financially, but I also had to pay him back.

C: What did you find financially difficult in opening a business?

K: Nothing was financially difficult in starting my business. Financially I was already ready.

C: How did you come up with the budget for the store?

K: I didn’t have a budget. So whatever needed to go into the store there was no budget for it. I either had the funds to contribute or I had the help  getting it. So there was no actual budget.

C: How do you continue to grow your brand?

K: By being a nice guy, being nice to the people in the community, and also support other things in the community. Especially like for school functions, donating to the schools, and donating to people of the community that need support financially. Such as they would have a loved one who past and don’t have the funds to pay the fees of proper burial. A big part of the brand is to give back to the people who got you to where you are today. Regardless of how you do it, you have to give back in some type of way.   

C: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs starting their own businesses?

K: It’s not easy, it can be hard. But if that’s what you want to do set your mind and do it. Don’t let nobody tell you no different if that’s something you really want to do.

C: What are your advertising tactics to expose your store?

K: Advertising to promote any business would be: radio promotion, T.V., flyers, and social media. When I first started my biggest advertising tactic was Facebook and going out and handing out flyers.

C: Do you plan on expanding your business or venturing off into another investment in the future? If so, how?

K: Yes, actually right now all my businesses I named I still run. Although I am trying to expand my brand into different marketing such as: promoting, real estate, and trying to step away from the candy business but take my knowledge from my previous businesses. I plan on being the biggest promoter in St. Louis that you could think or know about. That’s my goal. I’m ready to take my name to the next level and do other things.