UT sophomore brings sweet business to campus

Kate Dannenmaier

Some of the most famous candy combinations started as happy accidents. English sophomore Eloy Gonzalez’s candy-making story is much the same — it started with an accident during his days in
high school.

“I was with my cousin and his girlfriend at the time, and I was eating Sour Punch Straws, and they were eating Trechas with fruit,” Gonzalez said. “When I had my candy, my cousin bumped into his girlfriend, and she spilled the powder on the Sour Punch Straws.”

Trechas is a Mexican chili powder that comes in different flavors. At first, Gonzalez thought his candy was ruined by the chili powder, but realized he had discovered something completely new. Biology sophomore Salvador Arellano said he can’t really pinpoint what the flavor is; he just knows he always wants more.

“Since we were like five minutes from Mexico, we’d have access to all the Mexican candies and spices, and it was good to have something that was mixed with a common American candy,” Arellano said. “Just the fusion of a little bit of Mexican powder and Mexican sweet sugars can turn it into a whole new candy.”

Gonzalez made more of the candy, cutting different flavored Sour Punch Straws into bite-sized pieces and mixing them with sweet Trechas and named them “Krazy Straws.” He also mixed some with Chamoy, a savory-sweet Mexican sauce, and named those “Addicts.” He brought them to his high school in snack-sized Ziploc bags, selling them for two dollars a bag, and the business took off from there. Now, he hopes to bring his creations to UT.

“College kids would make an effort to drive to my house after school and buy the candy,” Gonzalez said. “One particular kid that stood out was a guy named Brandon. He would buy a bag every single day. So, that’s ten dollars, Monday through Friday.”

Krazy Straws sold so well that Gonzalez’s National Honor Society chapter decided to sell the candies for its fundraiser that year. They raised about $600.

When Gonzalez graduated, his friend Vicente Barton, now an aerospace engineering freshman at UT, continued selling Krazy Straws during his senior year of high school. That year, their NHS chapter made a profit of $3,000.

“It turned from something for recreation, making candy [and] selling it to friends, to raising for a good cause,” Arellano said.

Gonzalez is now bringing Krazy Straws and Addicts to UT. He first introduced the candy to his multicultural fraternity, Delta Alpha Omega, and is   planning on selling them for DAO’s fundraiser. Gonzalez also accepts orders on Facebook, and he hopes to open up a booth on campus in the future.

“So far, I’m making the candy myself, but when people want to invest and help out, I’m more than open to that,” Gonzalez said. “But the best thing people can do is spread the word. Spread the word and people will flock.”

Business sophomore Michael Segovia said he thinks Krazy Straws are going to take off.  

“Here, not a lot of people have heard of Hot Cheetos and cheese, but once you go to South Texas, it’s kind of big thing,” Segovia said. “So I just like the idea that bringing the candy here, you’ve got all these cultures mixing, and people are intrigued by this Mexican candy.”