I’m a firm believer in the old saying, ‘What comes around, goes around’. Life seems to wind its path and complete circles whether you live with intention or cruise on autopilot.
The PROBAR® story began with a few bucks, a lot of hard work, and a few people with a vision. Not everyone has a Cinderella story to share, yet it seems my life is overflowing with magical, fairy-god mother’s/father’s who appear (almost) out of thin air.
It wasn’t 3 years ago I was engaged in pursuing the dream of owning a business while working with my father in kitchen and bath design. Just before that all abruptly ended, I was fortunate to meet a wonderful, kind family with a wealth of experience in an industry completely foreign and unknown to me. Our design firm completed an extensive remodel for Barbara Barlean of Barlean’s Organic Oils just a few weeks before my wife and I relocated from northwest Washington to Utah to assist my mother-in-law who is crippled with arthritis. Just a few days after selling most of our personal belongings and loading what was left into a shoebox rental trailer, I ran into Barbara and had a short, but heartfelt conversation I will never forget. She said, ‘I’m sure our paths will cross some day’.
Fast forward one month…I had met the owners of PROBAR®, was moving into my in-laws’ 300 square foot basement with our two daughters with baby #3 on the way the same month, didn’t have a job and was trying to figure out how I managed to muddy such a clear and smooth life we had just a month earlier. I guess the needle is never discovered unless you jump in with the hope you’ll find something sharp.
International business…. kitchen and bath design…. energy bars…my past careers and current opportunity had absolutely nothing in common, but a common thread lead me to believe there might be something worth risking in the journey ahead.
‘…Our paths will cross someday’, said Barbara and she was right. Barb and her daughter, after giving the bar two thumbs up, suggested I call one of their employees, Bill Sickert, a man who seems to know just about everyone in the Natural Foods Industry. Bill tried the bars, enjoyed every bite and sent a few along to his long-time friend and veteran sales representative in Natural Foods, Diane O’Connor.
Although she services one of the smallest territories in the country, Diane was the first independent representative to catch the vision of PROBAR® and begin spreading samples around the San Diego area and more importantly, with other reps across the country.
One of life’s circles was completed just a few days ago when Bill Sickert, Diane and I met together in Carlsbad for a reunion dinner with our families to celebrate the official launch of the PROBAR® Road Trip and two years of success together. Little did I know, Barbara Barlean (and Karen) would connect us with Bill, who in turn connected us with Diane.
You never know who you’ll meet, the role they’ll play in helping you find the needle, and how much a single person with a little vision can change your life.
Oh, I almost forgot…we did our first official Road-Trip demo in El Cajon with our friends at Sprouts Farmers Market – one of the first accounts to welcome PROBAR® to the shelves of their store. Thanks, Sprouts!