February 8, 2019

The Truman Factory

We talk to the Willy Wonka of Dallas

The Truman Factory comparisons to Charlie & The Chocolate Factory start with chocolate (obviously). And while there might not be a chocolate river running through the brand’s Dallas headquarters, the bars they make are so delicious, Slugworth would definitely steal the recipe if he had the chance. And then there’s the prizes. Each bar contains a code (kinda like the millennial concept of a Golden Ticket) that can be used to unlock the Epic Prize Vault filled with everything from Beats headphones and Nintendo consoles to Commissary gelato and Truman Factory merch.

But the final (and most important) similarity is that The Truman Factory is also run by a super smart kid entrepreneur who loves candy. We talked to Truman Wilson about what it’s like to own your first company by the age of 11.

So you were 11 when you opened The Truman Factory?
I was 11 years old when I came up with the idea. When we launched The Truman Bar and the website went live in 2017, I was 12 years old.

Where was the first place you sold Truman Bars?
We sold out of all our inventory on the first day we opened! We sold Truman Bars in six different stores in Dallas and kicked off our first day with a launch party and pop-up store at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Founder Truman Wilson

Besides Shark Tank, what are your other sources of entrepreneurial inspiration?
My dad inspired me because he’s an entrepreneur. I’m also inspired by Elon Musk and Steve Jobs.

How did you up come with the idea of putting prize codes on the wrappers? 
Every kid loves chocolate and winning prizes, so I combined those two epic things. We give away the latest trends and what kids like. We also have some secret methods of choosing the most epic prizes.

What’s your favorite prize you’ve given away?
“A Nintendo Switch. The person who won it is in the U.S. Special Forces and he takes it with him when he’s overseas on missions.”

How do you balance being a kid, going to school, and running a business?
Because I have school, I work on Truman Factory stuff usually on weekends and some nights. My dad does some work on weekdays to help, too.

What’s your approach to getting the word out?
We drive around to visit possible stores, use social media promotions on Instagram, and we just started doing some epic collaborations.

You donate a portion of your proceeds to Vogel Alcove, a non-profit that helps children facing homelessness. Why is this important to you?
I believe in “kids helping kids” so I wanted to choose a charity that was local and that helped small children.

What do you see for the future of The Truman Factory?
I want to eventually expand internationally and make lots of kids happy by offering delicious candy and a chance at winning something epic.

The Truman Factory is like a real life Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. What’s one thing from the movies that you wish were real?
Definitely the chocolate river and the shrinking room.

The Details: Shop for Truman Bars at locations around the city, including inside the The Joule’s in-room minibars. Find more location here