Two years ago this week I started calling retailers from a cell phone from within my in-laws basement (my home office) as one of the first sales reps for PROBAR®. One of the accounts I contacted early on was EarthFare, a fast growing natural foods chain born in Asheville, NC. With just a few years under our belt, we’re fortunate to receive daily calls and emails from new stores inquiring about adding PROBAR® to their shelves. The only difference between then and now; I’m not fielding each call and soliciting each account.
Two years have passed and I’m nestled into a small regional jet headed to a fast growing city known for for great music, art, a destination for many outdoor enthusiasts and the home of the newest natural food chain carrying PROBAR® – EarthFare Natural Market.
The flight was delayed due to heavy rain in the east, but I enjoyed the late afternoon arrival over the jade-blue hills surrounding Asheville.
Coral (Public Relations for PROBAR®) and I met for a quick overview of PR for the company, then drove across town for the pre-opening party @ Earthfare. The community was also invited for live music and plenty of gourmet food in exchange for a donation of $10 or more. You’ll see from the picture the event was met with fanfare and excitement. Earthfare donated tens of thousands to a local charity and people lined up in almost hundred degree weather forming a snake around the front of the building. No, they’re not waiting for the long awaited release of the newest DVD from Blockbuster.
The next day we set up a demo table and sold over 200 hundred bars while sampling PROBAR® with locals for the very first time.
It’s fun to watch random consumers initial response when tasting a PROBAR® for the first time. It’s not unusual to one of the following responses:
‘Hmm, it actually tastes good’ – as if to imply energy bars don’t usually taste great.
‘It doesn’t taste like cardboard’
‘mmm, oh that’s soooo good’
Art (founder of PROBAR®) did an incredible job when he mixed his concoction of ingredients to formulate PROBAR®. I received my first Betty Crocker cook book when I turned four and learned to bake sugar cookies with my Mom. Although I can’t take credit for the bars and their success, life requires a balance of ingredients and patience to render the desired outcome. For now, it seems we’ve found just the right mix to keep our little family happy while developing PROBAR® as we go:
~Healthy, great tasting food (and bars)
~A road-trip that takes our home and family along
~Business that supports and encourages healthy living
~Friends, friends, and more new friends!