With a passion for the outdoors, nutrition, and family, Ava Bise began creating her own snacks to maintain her energy as she skied and taught lessons on the ski slopes of California. The You Bar company eventually evolved after friends began requesting these nutrition-packed snacks and the idea of a business caught the attention of Ava’s son and business major Anthony Flynn, who saw an opportunity to take his mother’s treats to a new level.
You Bar is unlike most companies with a website where each item is custom-made by the customer who can choose his own ingredients. Anthony explained that his site is based on Dell’s website. If you can customize a computer, Anthony thought, why not our products?
Starting with an unbeatable cookie, the company evolved to offer customized protein powders, trail mixes, bars, and now their gluten-free product line.
Anthony shared the bottom-up story of You Bar. Wanting to learn the food business from the ground up, after college, with three interviews in his suit and with an impressive resume, he failed to land the “basic” one he wanted at Jamba Juice. On his next attempt, he removed some of the accolades from his resume and dressed like a kid. He was hired on the spot.
He worked with customers, the health department, employees, and all ears, he learned the food business. He knew now that he want to do with his You Bar company. Anthony says he always listens to feedback, accepts requests and suggestions with open ears and has the willingness to try something new. GF was constantly requested, so the company felt a strong need to supply customers with a good-tasting, nutritious cereal cookie. Anthony has a dairy allergy and his mom has a long list of allergies herself, so the topic of food allergies was not new to either of them.
You Bar’s facility is not a dedicated GF facility, as they produce orders as they arrive, but Anthony stresses the facility is cleaned multiple times a day and says they don’t have “wheat flying around.” Wheat is actually not included in their ingredients. The oats for any GF orders are all from dedicated GF oats facilities. Each celiac and sensitive individual will need to take this into consideration and Anthony hopes to be able to address this in the future as he understands certain individuals are extremely sensitive.
You Bar is now four years old and is run by five family members and Joel, Anthony’s buddy since freshman year, and offers excellent sales and customer service. Ava, like her son, enjoys the feedback and uses it all to help create new product ideas or to perfect a product.
Go to their website and custom-make your own GF custom treats. It’s quite a lot of fun, and the products arrive individually-packed per your ingredients list. There’s really nothing like opening your box and seeing your own protein bars, protein powders, trail mixes or cookies, all with the exact ingredients you chose listed on your packaging.
As for my custom bars and protein bars, I can only say they are delicious and just what I wanted and expected. Who could ask for more?
From our home to yours, Tina Turbin.