Young Entrepreneur:

Centralia Resident Taps Into Dehydrated Fruit Line

By Justyna Tomtas

The Chronicle

“I think if a lot of people knew what was actually causing these diseases and cancers, they would stop what they were doing to prevent this down the road,” said Trenton Selway. “This is something; an alternative.”

Selway, 19, of Centralia, has put all of his efforts into bettering other people’s health. As a young entrepreneur, he has created a business where he hopes he can make a difference. 

As owner and creator of Slick’s Snacks, a dehydrated fruit line, Selway’s goal is to put a healthy treat onto the shelves to give people a health beneficial option.

His motivation to make a difference came at a young age. He started dehydrating fruit at 15 to help his family get into better health. 

“I found out at a young age what is in our food is actually causing these health issues,” Selway said. “I saw that I could help a lot of people by giving them an alternative.”

He began dehydrating fruit and giving it to his family. Once they started regularly choosing his snacks over generic, unhealthy brands, Selway noticed his sister started to lose weight. That’s when the big picture clicked for him and he realized he could help more people.

After opening up shop in Montana, Selway decided he needed to move back to Washington where he could more easily get his hands on apples.

His business here in Centralia has only been open since Dec. 1, but so far his cinnamon and sugar dehydrated apple snacks have made it onto the shelves of three local businesses. Selway said this was only the beginning and he has plans to expand into more food marts, gas stations and coffee stands. 

Currently his line has one flavor, something he said was an apple pie in a bite, although he has others in the works. Nailing down the perfect combination of spices took him nearly two years, but he was determined to find the right taste his consumers would love.

Once he has his apple line down, Selway wants to expand to other fruits. He hopes to use strawberries, blueberries and bananas, later adding exotic fruit like mangoes, papayas and pineapples. 

After his fruit line is complete, he wants to branch out into vegetables.

“It sounds absurd, but I want to dab into it because vegetables are so beneficial to your health,” Selway said. 

Before he makes the jump to other products, he wants to increase production of his dehydrated apples, creating a name for himself. 

His focus right now is on the local markets, but he hopes to open a bigger location where he can mass produce his product for larger areas like Seattle and Portland. 

The motivated young adult has large plans for his business and in six months he hopes to be producing 20,000 bags a month. 

“I’m a very eager person, I’m very motivated and ambitious,” Selway said. “It takes time, but it’s something that I know if I have a deadline, I strive to get it done faster.” 

Selway has been in discussions with representatives at Seneca Foods Co., has been talking to recruiters in the military and has also been discussing the option of carrying his product in Lewis County school districts.

His goals are big, and he hopes the more places he gets his product, the better an opportunity he has to help himself, his family and his consumers. 

“This can be healthy for everyone,” Selway said. “You don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat my product. It just helps everyone in a big way.”

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