You’ve Got Candy, the exclusively online BYU-Idaho IBC group, offers baskets and boxes of assorted sweets tailored to holidays such as Easter.
“We know what it’s like having family all across the world and how there are times when an email or text message just won’t cut it,” according to the You’ve Got Candy IBC Web page. “So dig in and find something beautiful and unique to send them.”
Todd Hopkins, CEO of You’ve Got Candy and a senior studying business management, said he graduated from what was then known as Ricks College back in 1990 and currently works for a curriculum publishing company in addition to taking the IBC course.
“I decided it was time to come back, so I started in the Pathway program two years ago,” he said.
Hopkins said he is living in Arizona with his family and that most of the rest of the members are based in Indiana, Missouri, Utah, New Mexico and Texas.
“This IBC course online is the first that BYU-I has done where all the students are online and the business is online,” Hopkins said. “Our IBC is comprised of eight individuals.”
Rebecca Little, a senior studying business management, said their IBC group is really diverse, with one member of their group living outside of the U.S. and at least two others from other countries.
“We were told that a regular IBC group is 15-20 people, so from that perspective, we are also really small,” Little said.
Raul Hidalgo, a senior studying business management, said he lives outside of the U.S. in Pueblo, Mexico, with his wife and son, working at the public school in his area as well as working closely with the mayor.
“Experience with the IBC has been great because I have learned a lot working with a team,” Hidalgo said.
Little said their business, You’ve Got Candy, was a result of planning around the needs of their customers during the months of candy-related holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter.
“Something interesting about the online course is that because we are in all different places, we are working through websites and social media,” Hidalgo said. “I work with the Facebook strategy.”
Hidalgo said it has been an interesting experience trying to figure out how to work out the aspects of buying and distributing their product.
“We literally were starting from scratch,” Little said.
Little said pioneering the online IBC course has been an interesting exercise in troubleshooting for a company that has little to none of the conveniences the on-campus IBC groups share including a physical store, publicity and food services.
Hopkins said something that makes their candy services so unique is their partnership with Candy Startup, an American candy company that started in the 1800s, which they were able to form from the connection that another member of their group had with the company.
“This company has been selling their chocolate since 1868,” Hopkins said. “It has some really nice chocolates, really gourmet, really handmade.”
Startup Candy developed the “Opera Bar,” America’s first filled candy bar in 1895, according to the Startup Candy website. The “Opera Bar,” which initially sold for 10 cents a bar, came with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cream filling.
One hundred years later, that same bar is sold in the same packaging with its history and ingredients printed on the back, according to the Startup Candy website.
Little said she is responsible for much of the website platform and works to update and improve content as well as conceptualize ideas for the packaging and content of the candy boxes.
Hopkins said some of their packages consist of vintage candies, Startup candies and an art box, which is tailored to children and includes artistic kits and activities.
Hopkins said the business started by inviting family and friends to participate through social media, but that the orders from outside their personal circle have grown recently.
“It’s a unique partnership that benefits the students as well as a small American business,” Little said. “What’s not to like about that?”