The Friends Behind Fresh Bar Are Heading to Wegmans!

 
 

Just like Willie Nelson, the founders of Fresh Bar are on the road again. On Monday, Ross, Will, Tom, and Austin set off on a cross-country trek out to Wegmans stores in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland. There, they'll set up their tables and share their fresh, refrigerated, gluten free snacks with shoppers. What's more, starting next week, anyone at Wegmans can purchase four Fresh Bars for five bucks – a dazzling deal!

So come ask the friends for their best Minnesota accents, remark on the fineness of their beards, or just say "Hi". But whatever you do, make sure you give Fresh Bar a try! You won't regret it!

Wednesday - 3.29

Niagara Falls, NY    11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Buffalo, NY    11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Henrico, VA    11:00 am - 2:30 pm
Midlothian, VA    11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Williamsville, NY    4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Williamsville, NY    4:15 pm - 7:15 pm
Woodbridge, VA    4:45 pm- 7:30 pm
Fredericksburg, VA    4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Thursday - 3.30

Penfield, NY    11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Fairfax, VA    11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Alexandria, VA    11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Fairport, NY    10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Canandaigua, NY    3:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Rochester, NY    4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Leesburg, VA    4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Gainesville, VA    5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Friday - 3.31

Scranton, PA    11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wilkes-Barre, PA    11:30 am - 5:30 pm
Frederick, MD    11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Germantown, MD    11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Columbia, MD    4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Owings Mills, MD    4:45 pm - 7:30 pm

Saturday - 4.1

Princeton, NJ    3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Woodbridge, NJ    10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Bridgewater, NJ    10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Hunt Valley, MD    11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Abingdon, MD    10:30 am - 6:30 pm

Sunday - 4.2
Mt Laurel, NJ    9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cherry Hill, NJ    9:15 am - 12:15 pm
Downingtown, PA    9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Glen Mills, PA    9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Malvern, PA    1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
King of Prussia, PA    1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
North Wales, PA    1:45 pm - 4:15 pm
Warrington, PA    1:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Fresh Bar Fan Running 52 Races in 52 Weeks at Age 52

While Tom and Ross were handing out Fresh Bars at the Securian Winter Run, they were lucky enough to meet Fresh Bar fan Tim Pratt. At age fifty-two, Tim is alive and kicking... and running! In fact, he's running fifty-two races in 2017, one for every week. We were inspired by Tim's resolve to run 52 races in 52 weeks, so we asked him to share a little bit of his story!

What inspired you to challenge yourself with 52 races in 52 weeks? Have you done anything like this before?

I have done Team in Training twice. With Team you raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) while training for an athletic event. Just one event though. For instance last year I did Grandma's Marathon. As I was thinking about what I wanted to do in 2017 I thought I could do more. I would be turning 52 in January, 2017 and somehow the idea of doing 52 races in 52 weeks while raising $5,200 for LLS popped into my head. Then I added doing 52 hours of volunteering too.


You started a Twitter hashtag, #BeInspiring. What does it mean to you to "be inspiring?"

I didn't want this to be about me. I wanted it to be about we. There is so much unrest in society. It seems people focus on the negative and forget about all the positive things in the world. I thought in addition to me doing something good, I wanted to inspire others to do something good too. Then they can inspire others to do good too and we can create this ripple effect to spread peace, love and understanding.

Any tips for others who want to follow your example?

I'm doing something big as kind of a publicity stunt if you will. But you don't need to do something big. Every little act of kindness adds up.

What's your favorite Fresh Bar?

I started years ago with Apple Cinnamon, then I switched to Chocolate Banana, but now I'm really loving the Pumpkin Carrot Pecan. I love real pumpkin - not the fake pumpkin spice stuff that shows up each fall.


How does Fresh Bar help you on your 52/52 quest?

After a run I need a quick bite to refuel. Fresh Bar is soft and fresh (well, duh) and tastes like real food - not something processed. I can read the ingredients and recognize everything that's in them.

We'll be following along with Tim during his year-long quest and we hope you will, too!

Fresh Bar: Now Served Up Single

Since the beginning of Five Friends Food, our bars have never been served up solo. Beginning in a four-pack as GüdBar...

...and continuing in a three-pack as Fresh Bar...

...we've slowly been inching closer and closer to selling our bars single.

In May, we let a few single-serve cases sneak out into the wilds of Minnesota. Today, we're completing the transition everywhere Fresh Bars are sold!

Now, you can buy them individually, say, if you're on-the-go and have a hankering for something tasty and healthy!

Or you can take home an entire box of eight!

They fit wonderfully in your fridge or freezer! Take one out for a quick breakfast or snack!

We think you're going to like the new format of Fresh Bar, with individual packaging as bright and fresh as the bars, themselves. Now, you can mix and match flavors or stock up for the month by purchasing a caddy of eight bars. Check 'em out in the same places you currently buy Fresh Bar!

And the bars don't just look better, we've removed orange juice and apple juice from all of our flavors, making the bars slightly less acidic. At the same time, we added a little more sunflower oil for a richer, smoother flavor.

The changes slightly increased the calorie counts on all of our bars, making them better suited to a quick breakfast or lunch. At the same time, they enhanced Fresh Bar's signature taste and texture, and boosted the refrigerated shelf life to sixty days from fifty days!

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the new recipe, so send us an email!

Fresh Bar: Now Available in Midwest Super Targets

It's a match made in Minnesota!

Five Friends Food has teamed up with Target to sell Fresh Bar in Super Targets throughout the Midwest! As a result of the partnership, snackers in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska can now buy Fresh Bar for the very first time.

Super Target shoppers can find the bars in the produce section near the front of the store. Look for the bars in their new single-serve format. You can also take home an entire 8-pack!

 

Iowa: Davenport, Mason City, Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo

Kansas: Lawrence, Olathe, Shawnee

Minnesota: Shoreview, Apple Valley, Plymouth, Rochester, Chaska, Lino Lakes, Rogers, Lakeville, Champlin, Blaine, Savage, West St Paul, Roseville, Monticello, Minneapolis, Maple Grove, Fridley, Saint Paul, Richfield, Edina, Rochester, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Woodbury, Otsego

North Dakota: Grand Forks

Nebraska: Papillion

Wisconsin: Eau Claire, Fitchburg

 

Check out our store locator to find the nearest location where you can buy Fresh Bar!

Fresh Bar's Chicago Trip: by the Numbers

And we're back from another successful road trip! This time the friends headed down to the Chicagoland area to visit the lovely Mariano's grocery chain where Fresh Bar has been sold since April.

To everyone we met on the trip, hello! We're glad you're here. To everyone else who couldn't make it, here's a recap of the trip by the numbers...

Zig-zagging around the suburbs of Chicago really makes the miles (and tolls) add up quickly. On this trip, the guys logged more than 2,000 miles between the drive to Chicago and shuttling around from sampling to sampling. And boy, that 6ish hour trip between Minneapolis and Chicago gets easier and easier every time you do it.

From Oak Lawn to Buffalo Grove and on to the shores of Lake Zurich, Fresh Bar stopped by two dozen Mariano’s locations. This number should also include a good number of piano performances near the checkout, and dips into the hot bar.

Ernie is a 4-month-old black lab who came along to sleep and chew and contribute his dog licks to whatever was in reach. Highlights of Ernie’s trip included sleeping in the back seat, playing with his dog buddies in Villa Park, and getting lost in the tall grass behind gas stations in Wisconsin.

The four friends on this trip spent a collective 83 hours representing Fresh Bar in the chilly atmosphere of the bagels and cream cheese section. That’s about as long as it takes to walk from Minneapolis to Madison.

Just a long weekend compared to the Wegman’s excursion earlier this year. Plus the road conditions were much better in the summer.

Between Will and Ross, the Pokemon trainers of the group, a prodigious number of new Pokemon were snagged and tagged. And don’t worry, we did heed the road signs in Wisconsin that asked drivers not to catch Pokemon and drive.

It always gives us joy to help folks discover Fresh Bar for the first time, and on this trip we were lucky enough to send 400 boxes to good homes and hungry stomachs!

Until next time, y'all!

 

We're Going to Chicago!

Just three months after returning from their legendary, 6,000-mile Wegmans road trip, the Five Friends are heading out again. They'll be personally sharing Fresh Bar in 24 Mariano's stores from Friday, July 15th to Sunday, July 17th.

The road this time won't be nearly as cold or treacherous. A mere seven hours from Minneapolis, Chicago is basically next next door.

"I've got a feeling our Midwestern neighbors are going to like Fresh Bar," co-founder Ross Pomeroy observed. "Almost as much as they love St. Paddy's Day. But probably not as much as they love complaining about the weather."

Fresh Bar CEO Will Handke is excited for the trip.

"Giving out free food is one of the best parts of starting a food business. I mean, who doesn't like free food?"

The Five Friends aren't only excited about giving away free food. Marketing Director Tom Johnson can't wait to sample the local fair.

"I'm going to eat myself stupid on Milwaukee Avenue," he predicted.

Fresh Bar launched in all 37 Mariano's locations in April. Look for the bars in the dairy section near the bagels!

Friday, July 15

11am - 3 pm, Evergreen Park    (2559 W 95th St)
11am - 3 pm, Oak Lawn    (11000 S Cicero Ave)
11am - 3 pm, Harwood Heights    (7401 W Lawrence Ave)
11am - 3pm, Park Ridge    (1900 S Cumberland Ave)
4pm - 7pm, Frankfort    (21001 S Lagrange Rd)
4pm - 7pm, Orland Park    (9504 142nd St)
4pm - 7pm, Glenview - East    (25 Waukegan Rd)
4pm - 7pm, Northfield    (1822 Willow Rd)

Saturday, July 16

10:00am - 2pm, Glenview - West    (2323 Capital Dr)
10:00am - 2pm, Northbrook    (784 Skokie Blvd)
10:30am - 2:00pm, Westmont    (150 W. 63rd Street)
10:00am - 2pm, Napervillie    (1300 S Naper Blvd)
3pm - 7pm, Buffalo Grove    (450 W Half Day Rd)
3pm - 7pm, Vernon Hills    (1720 N Milwaukee Ave)
3:30pm - 6:30pm, Shorewood    (950 Brook Forest Ave)
3pm - 7 pm, Aurora    (3025 E New York St)
2:15pm - 4:45pm, Wheaton    (625 S Main St)

Sunday, July 17

10am - 1:30pm, Westchester    (3020 S Wolf Rd, Suite 35)
10am - 1:30pm, Western Springs    (4700 Gilbert Ave)
10:00am - 1:30pm, Lake Zurich    (1350 E Route 22)
10:00am - 1:30pm, Palatine    (545 N Hicks Rd)
2pm - 5pm, Elmhurst    (678 N York St)
2pm - 5pm, Hoffman Estates    (2575 W Golf Rd)
2:15pm - 4:45pm, Arlington Heights    (802 E Northwest Hwy)

Introducing: Single Serve!

A brand new way to enjoy Fresh Bar has quietly slipped onto shelves in the Twin Cities Area over the past few weeks. The change is a result of many months of tinkering and testing, and we're happy to officially announce what we've been up to: single serve packaging!

All four flavors are being tested in a handful of retailers (see full list below) as individually packed and priced bars. It's the same great bar found in the same part of the store, just in a more convenient form!

- Grab and go: Hungry for one bar but not three? Now you can purchase Fresh Bar one at a time. Pick it up with a juice or a cup of yogurt for a quick meal on-the-go!
- Bulk packing: Did you think the 3-pack was too small? With our new packaging, you can also buy a whole caddy of eight bars and house a mini Fresh Bar dispenser in your fridge at home.
- New places to sell: Single serve packaging works great in more high-convenience, fast-paced retail settings like convenience stores and snack counters at gyms. There are so many places we'd love to go (and where customers like you have asked for them) and with this change we can finally do it.
- They look great: Our single serve bars are colorful and clearly labeled. No more mystery of whether a bar is apple vs. cherry or digging out the box to check for ingredients. A big "thanks!" to our designer Cori for her work on this project.

Want to check the new Fresh Bar out? Here's where you can find single serve packaging in the Twin Cities area right now:

SIMPLS
Whole Foods Minnetonka
Whole Foods Edina
Whole Foods Lake Calhoun
Whole Foods Saint Paul
HyVee Oakdale
HyVee New Hope

Fresh Is For Everyone

Oftentimes, we are asked, "What makes Fresh Bar different?" Our reply is always the same.

"It's fresh!"

But what does that really mean?

More and more, food is manufactured to be convenient for the companies that sell it. Artificial sweeteners, processed ingredients, and wacky preservatives may make products that taste good and have long shelf lives, but ultimately, they benefit the bottom lines of companies, not the health of consumers.

The domineering trend in today's marketplace is to do what is easy. For the past four years, we've done what is hard. We've given up evenings and weekends, sometimes even working 'til two in the morning, to do something that nobody else has done: bake a bar with simple ingredients you know and trust, that's not dried out and loaded with preservatives. Every Fresh Bar is a snack that could easily have been baked in your own kitchen; there's no tricks or gimmicks involved. The journey hasn't always been easy, but it's been worth it.

The term "Fresh" is as traditional as they come, but every year it grows more radical and rare in the food industry. At Five Friends Food, we will always fight to preserve it. Because we believe fresh is for everyone.

Getting Your Bike Ready For Spring: 4 Simple Steps

Spring is the in the air. You pull open the garage door, push aside the snowblower, stash away the skis and find your poor old bicycle sitting where you left it last October. A rush of warm happiness overcomes you -- the bike’s happy to see you too.

But before you take your ride out for the season, you must first make sure its mechanics are in order. Ensuring your bike works properly is important not just for avoiding injury, but also for having an enjoyable ride and a little peace of mind when you're out cruising.

To help out, we talked to Rob DeHoff, owner of Varsity Bike & Transit in Minneapolis. Rob's philosophy of bike maintenance is that "a little can go a long way" - and in that spirit, here are Rob’s basic tips on how to prep your for spring riding. 

1. Air up the tires, lube the chain


“90% of your bike maintenance will be one of those things,” says Rob. Especially if the air hasn’t been checked for a few months of extreme temperatures, or if that chain has a few red rust spots. And an important note when it comes to chain greasing: don’t use WD40 and don’t use 3-in-1, get the stuff that’s designed for chains that won’t catch the grime. The rule of thumb is if your chain is frozen solid with deep mars-red rust, it’s time to replace it.

2. Ride your bike around the block

“Maybe even take it off a curb or two -- but not up a curb. That’s important,” advises Rob. Riding around the block gives you an opportunity to feel how the bike handles and, almost as important, listen to what’s rattling or squeaking or mysteriously clicking from somewhere near your gears.

3. Find your comfort level, within reason

"Everyone has their own tolerance for noise and ‘character’ in their bike. Figure out what’s OK for you and what’s not,” says Rob. Exceptions to this rule are vital functions like the brakes - those should always be in working order. But if you can stop and start and are fine with how things feel, you should be able to enjoy your ride stress free.

4. What’s not OK, take to a shop

“Any good shop can help work with you to fix what’s needed; they’re there to help!” Rob explains. From beginners to experts, getting a once-over from a professional at the beginning of the year is good advice. Mechanics can spot things you may have missed and assist with finding parts and getting your ride singing in tune.

So there you have it! We promised they’d be basic. Once you've followed these steps, Rob also suggests checking out events and workshops in your local bike community. It's a great way to hone your technical bike repair skills, swap parts, and have fun riding! The Minneapolis Bike Coalition and 30 Days of Biking in the Twin Cities, and Chicago Cycling Club in the windy city are just a few examples of the good people out there in the world of bicycling.

Now grab that bike, you're ready to roll!

So You Want to Try a Fresh Bar...

For over four years now, Minnesotans have had the opportunity to eat a snack bar unlike any other – one that's made to eat, not to last. Now, residents of Chicago and its suburbs have that same opportunity, as Fresh Bar is now available in Mariano's Fresh Market!

If you'd like to try Fresh Bar and discover an entirely new snacking experience, here's everything you need to know!

The What:

Fresh Bar is a fresh, refrigerated snack and energy bar. Unlike other bars, it's simply baked with ingredients you can pronounce like rolled oats and puréed fruit. Because it's minimally processed and not dried out, Fresh Bar is sold out of refrigerated sections in grocery stores. Fresh bar comes in four flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana, Cherry Pear Walnut, Apple Almond Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Carrot Pecan. At Mariano's, each carton of Fresh Bar costs $3.99 and contains three individually sealed bars.

The When:

Fresh Bar was originally launched in March 2012.

The Who:

The five childhood friends behind Fresh Bar, Will, Ross, Mike, Tom, and Austin, grew up together in Mankato, Minnesota. After going their separate ways for college, they all ended up all living in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. In 2012, they banded together in a local community kitchen to bake Fresh Bar. The rest is history.

The Why:

Nutrition and energy bars today are pretty much all the same: They're dried out, and often utilize preservatives or artificial ingredients. The combination makes the bars convenient for the businesses who sell them, because they can make the bars in large, industrial batches and sell them off over months or even years! This isn't great for consumers, however, because they are forced to eat unpalatable, processed bars when in need of a quick snack.

Fresh Bar offers consumers a fresh, minimally-processed alternative to the stale bars of today.

The Where:

Look for Fresh Bar in the dairy section of Mariano's, near the bagels. Use our store locator to find the location nearest you!