Ken Nelson

KLN Family Brands

Life is just a Barrel O’ Fun for Ken Nelson, the homespun munchies merchant who launched that snack food company, as well as Kenny’s Candy Company and Nutheads. His first company, Tuffy’s Pet Foods, targeted canine connoisseurs. After selling Tuffy’s in 1971 and Barrel O’ Fun in 1981, he bought both back and rolled everything into KLN, which now occupies 1.5 million square feet in Perham. All told, KLN’s 2,500 offerings generate more than $500 million in annual sales, with a goal of $1 billion in seven years. How sweet it is.