Candy Lady keeps locals in tasty treats |

Candy Lady keeps locals in tasty treats

Name: Sherri Acri, aka, “the Candy Lady”

Occupation: Distributor, Mountain Man Nut & Fruit Co.

Birthplace: Tucson, Ariz. My father was in the computer business so we lived in Austria for a while, but I grew up and went to middle school and high school in Cupertino.

Family: My husband, Mark, and two cats, King and Queen.

Why did you move Lake Tahoe?: I came her in late 1983 to ski. I began dating, Mark, and he decided to move to San Diego. So, I decided to move there. He decided to come back to Lake Tahoe a couple years later, and he asked me to move back. I was reluctant a first, but then he threw in a free health club membership at Sierra Athletic Club. How could I resist?

How did you get in the fruit and nut business?: A girlfriend sold me her distributorship about three and a half years ago. I’ve been doing it ever since.

What’s your route?: I go all over the South Shore, plus Minden, Gardnerville and Carson City. I put a few hundred miles on the truck each week.

You must enjoy driving?: “Yeah. Except when I have to put on chains.

How do you spend your driving time: I listen to talk radio, tapes, music.

What do you have in the player now?: Madonna (laughs). I guess I’m showing my age.

How old are you?: I’m a woman. That gives me the right not to tell you. (laughs.)

Where do you get your fruits and nuts?: Mountain Man, which is based out of Parker, Colo. The company just celebrated its 25th anniversary of selling the finest fruits, nuts and candy in the world.

You’re quite a pitch-person. Do you eat what you sell?: Yes. Everything except the black licorice. You know, after selling the stuff I’ve come to think there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love black licorice and those who hate it. And I’ve found that the people who like black licorice, don’t like the red licorice. I think it’s something in people’s genes.

Because you sell candy, fruits and nuts, how does your clientele compare with other parts of the region? Do you sell more fruits or nuts in Tahoe and more candy in the valley?: You’d think but I’d say no. Tahoans, regardless of their lifestyle, don’t eat an abundance of fruits and nuts.

Who buys more, men or women?: Definitely women. Men just browse and say, “I’ll get back at you next time.”

What do women mostly buy?: Chocolate.

What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened on your job: I had two ladies arguing over a bag of chocolates. It was the last bag I had and these two ladies, who were getting their nails done, both wanted it. It’s funny now looking back on it but it wasn’t funny at the time. It was like a tug-of-war between the two, literally. Both had their hands on it and were pulling and tugging on it.

How did you settle it?: I gave it to the lady who asked for it first.

What do you do when you’re not working?: We like to spend time at the lake or play golf. In winter, we like to cross country ski on the beach during moonlight.

Are you involved in any civic organizations?: My husband and I are involved in the CASA (court appointed special advocates) program. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and I asked my husband about it, and he said we should do it together.

What is CASA?: It’s a group that acts on behalf of children whose parents are in the court system. We’re the voice in court when there is no one else to do it.

Who do you admire and would most like to meet: President Bush. I think he’s doing a great job. His honesty shines through.

What keeps you going?: Meaningful friendships and a zest for life.

What’s your advice to young people?: Hang in there because it gets easier as you get older.

Do you know someone who should be featured in 15 Minutes? Contact Jeff Munson at

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