We all love eating bars on the go – they’re compact, easy, and convenient ways to fill up when there’s not time to stop and eat. But how often do you actually enjoy those bars?
We talked with Brian Cornelius, COO of RBar Organic, and a man on a mission to make food bars that are delicious, healthy and organic. RBar Organic features yummy-sounding flavors like poppy seed and chocolate fudge brownie – all crafted with 7 ingredients or less. Tempted? Read on to learn more.
Q: How did the idea for R Bar Organic come to be?
We were looking for an organic, delicious option to take on hikes and training rides. I’m a cyclist and at the time was training three to six hours a day and nutrition was (and is) really important to having a great day. The road to where we are now wasn’t easy and we blew up a good number of blenders along the way. But every time I have one of our bars, which is every day, I’m reminded of how very worth it the road has and continues to be.
Q: What makes it different than others on the market.
The first thing our customers say when they try RBars is that they taste really good. The bar market has forgotten what food should taste like and that is our first priority; make a delicious tasting product. Our second priority is to have every product we make USDA certified organic. We have dried fruits and nuts in our bars, much like other companies out there. And those dried fruits and nuts were once fresh, grown in a field or orchard and, if they are not certified organic, there is a good chance pesticides are on them. I don’t want to eat that and I don’t think our customers want to either. Simplicity is also a significant part of our company. Every product we make has 7 easily pronounceable ingredients or less, now and in the future.
Additionally, last month we started working with a company called Beacon Group for our labeling and boxing. Beacon Group provides jobs to people with disabilities and it’s been a lot of fun getting to know these wonderful and hardworking people. I look forward to growing our company with them.
Q: How do you find inspiration for flavors? What is the most popular?
Inspiration for flavors happens every single day, which means we have a lot of ideas! We let creativity flow at our company and embrace both our customers’ and employees’ ideas. Anything and any flavor combination is possible and we’re working toward making some really unique new flavors. Currently we have six main flavors, Cranberry Cashew, PB & J, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Mint Chocolate, Fig + Almond, and Lemon Poppy Seed. PB & J is a classic but Lemon Poppy Seed is our most popular. It actually tastes just like a lemon poppy seed muffin!
Q: Tell us a little about your background. Have you owned a business before?
I haven’t owned any other businesses before, but I’ve been very lucky to surround myself with seasoned business people, some of whom are now part of RBar Organic.
Q: What is the biggest challenge in owning this business? And biggest reward?
The biggest challenge of owning this business has been finding a balance between work and still doing and enjoying the things that I did pre-business. Namely exercise, which if I do make time for I’m always much more efficient and effective in business. The biggest reward is getting to meet the people involved with the company at every level from the farms we source ingredients from to our customers. Our business relies so much on the relationships and the trust we build and that process is by far my favorite part.
Q: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or your business?
Fun fact: I use to be a Cat 1 cyclist and still love training very much. Athletics are really key to a great day. Tying into that, our company used to produce bars entirely by hand and in our first three years I hand pressed some 150,000 bars. Fun!