From start-up to family business
Get the stories behind the custom wholefood bars made at Element Bars. Find out how our fresh, custom granola bars are made and learn about new ingredients, healthy tips, and new recipes.
|"Did you catch that game last night?"|
"See what _______ is wearing today? WOW!"
"Best episode of our favorite trashy show. . . . .I can't believe they got together"
|"Is the tube kerfunked?"|
"Is the _____hose squished? BUMMER!"
"Worst thing I can think of happening. . . . .I can't go this long without Earl Grey"
People often ask me to name my favorite Element Bar.
My answer: The one I have every day for breakfast.
For the past two years, I have had what I call "Quality Control Breakfast" to start my day. This meal consists of a cup of coffee I brew at home and an overrun custom bar I pick up from the bakery. Overrun bars are left over after our custom batches are mixed, baked, cut, wrapped and boxed. Not every batch has an overrun bar and almost all our overrun bars are not big enough to package as a full bar. While overrun bars are not as big as the bars we send to our customers they still provide a healthy start to the day and allow me to test the freshness and taste of the bars we are producing in the bakery.
I once read an interview with Jim Koch founder of The Boston Brewery brewer of Sam Adam’s Boston Lager and he said that he had “5 or 6 quality control beers a day!” Which had me thinking I was a lot healthier being in the bar business as opposed to the beer business.
Keep creating "your bar, your way" but if you are thinking of me and my breakfast, add one fruit and one nut to a chewy core and have the label say "Good Morning Jonathan".
Last weekend I rode in the North Shore Century and got to enjoy a wonderful all day bike ride through Chicago's northern suburbs. I also got savagely sunburned despite slopping on sunscreen pre-race. One thing I didn't get, was hungry, thanks to Cherry Charge. I took two with me along with plenty of water and avoided the dreaded "bonk" that plagues dehydrated or glycogen depleted cyclists worldwide.
Judging by the number of letters/emails I have received saying “your blog changed my life”, “I sent this to all my friends” and “move over Hemingway” I don’t think I have a very wide readership. All the emails I have received of this variety have been sent from my personal email account. So, although I have blogged about “All Hands on Deck” days at Element Bars before, I think I might need to again.
At start-up companies, “All Hands on Deck” days are days which everyone in the company needs to stop what they are doing in order to help in another area of the company. These are great days because it means that there is a high demand for our product. At Element Bars “All Hands on Deck” days require help in the bakery. Last week after a call from the Big-Boss-Man, I threw my hair net on (which is quite an accomplishment because I am in desperate need of a haircut) and I set off for the bakery.
Due to the large number of orders we had to fulfill there were a bunch of bars that needed wrapping. When I arrived at the bakery, the unwrapped bars were sitting at the base of the flow-wrapper. A flow-wrapper is a machine that runs bars on a conveyor belt, wraps them in plastic and then heat seals the bags so they are still fresh when customers receive them. Our particular flow-wrapper has a conveyor belt, wrapping spool, cutter, sealer and temper. Fortunately, we have two Flow Wrapper Whisperers at Element Bars-Jonathan and Raul. These two guys can take even the wildest of flow wrappers and calm them down to help wrap bars.
During the “All Hands on Deck” day last week, Jonathan was whispering to the machine, Chris was feeding bars and I had was having an epiphany—my freestyle rap name. Now, I have never freestyled because I worried I would be really fantastic. My fear was I would be freestyle rapping on my morning commute or while grocery shopping and a record producer or Rihanna would approach me and want to collaborate on a record. I would be enthusiastic about the prospects when the inevitable question would come up “so what is your stage name?” I wouldn’t have a name and the project would be shelved. But now, thanks to Element Bars and the demand for our product I can rap freely because I have a freestyle rap name, Flo Rapper.