ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque native Kyle Thordahl was working at a ski resort in Colorado and missing the 505 when he thought of an idea: What if people could send boxes filled with iconic Albuquerque items anywhere in the world?
Thordahl, 20, returned to Albuquerque in April, and within weeks put his idea into action and started his business, Albuquerque in a Box.
The business functions through a website, ABQinaBox.com, where people can send boxes of local goodies anywhere in the world, and shipping is free within the United States. Items include green chile beef jerky, Sadie’s and El Pinto salsas and Breaking Bad paraphernalia.
Thordahl used saved money from high school jobs to start the business.
“I tried to keep it very simple at first,” he said. “It was all proof of concept to see if it was something I wanted to pursue. Then after a week, I said this is something I really want to go forward with.”
ABQ in a Box is still relatively simple, for now.
“Since I’m working out of a pretty much makeshift office at my house, I just store everything here,” Thordahl said. “As the orders come in, I box them up one by one and ship them out.”
In the future, he hopes to expand his inventory by adding cold boxes of roasted Hatch green chile and Dion’s ranch dressing.
There are other companies that ship gift boxes of New Mexican treats, but Thordahl said some of the items he offers are more unique to Albuquerque.
“I think the items that we ship are more iconic, solely representing Albuquerque — the others are more chile-based and more broadly New Mexican,” he said.
International countries that ABQ in a Box has shipped to include Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Japan. The farthest country it has shipped to is South Africa, 9,515 miles away from Albuquerque.
“One of the cooler things has been seeing it shipped out so far, knowing that you’re packing up a box filled with Albuquerque stuff that people want across the world,” he said.
Thordahl is a 2013 Albuquerque Academy graduate and will attend the University of New Mexico this year.
Prices are five hand-picked items for $39 or 10 items for $69.