To provide a little inspiration, we’re profiling people with cool jobs. Got a great — and unusual — gig? Holler at us.
When a UPS package carrying 10k crickets landed on Shelby Smith’s doorstep, she was terrified.
Smith, a former derivatives trader living on her family’s farm in Iowa, had ordered the crickets on a whim.
2018 was the perfect time to jump into the cricket biz — the market is projected to grow to $8B by 2030.
You can already find some high-profile cricket products, like the Exo Protein energy bar, in most stores.
But almost everything Smith knew about raising crickets came from YouTube videos.
“I killed a lot of crickets,” she says. “Like, a lot.”
Step 1 to building a biz?
Get a punny name.
Smith’s choice: Gym-N-Eat Crickets. (Say it out loud.)
Now Smith is in about 11 grocers across the country, including the Midwestern chain Hy-Vee.
She’s one of the few companies raising her crickets stateside. And her flavors — lemon, banana bread, salted caramel — are more experimental than other brands’.
“You are at the mercy of what I like, because if you don’t buy it, I’m going to have to eat it,” she says. “There will be no black licorice crickets.”
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less