CHAPTER 19Nutty for Opera



Rachel Roth, OperaNutsPhoto credit: Yuling Designs.

For a couple of years, when she was growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota, Rachel Roth sold more Girl Scout cookies than anyone in her town. “I always sold more than any other kid, even when it was high school yearbooks,” she recalls.

That’s not surprising when you meet her. The single founder of New York City–based OperaNuts ( is a born sales siren.

I had my first handful of OperaNuts three years ago, when a friend of our family’s, Eileen Roach, brought them as a house present to my sister and her husband’s lake house in South Carolina. I was hooked. So when I had the chance to meet Roth, the creator of these mouth-watering morsels, on a trip to New York, I leapt at it.

She didn’t disappoint. As I munched the samples that she had brought along in a gift bag, she regaled me with tales of her start-up, mostly how she enthusiastically reached out for help from those decades younger than her. That resonated with me.

Roth, who “is over 65, but under 100,” she says, and Roach, 28, first met at a New York Public Library branch on the Upper East Side where Roach was volunteering through New York Cares ( Roach’s project involved assisting older adults with their computer literacy skills on Thursday nights. The two of them hit it off. Roach quickly became Roth’s techie mentor and ...

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