This is a huge deal for a Charlotte-based healthy snack business: Brüks Bars has just gotten into one of the largest natural food stores in the world, Whole Foods Market.
- Brüks Bars are healthy snack bars, made with real food, and are completely gluten, dairy, soy and egg-free, and/or vegan.
- The Original (natural peanut buttery) bar was the first flavor to market, and will be included as one of three flavors coming to Whole Foods Market.
- The others: Apple Pecan and Cherry Espresso – both of which are completely vegan.
- Two Whole Foods locations: in Charlotte at Sharon Road (starting November 7) and in Cary at the Waverly Place Shopping Center (starting November 9).
- Three features that set Brüks Bars apart: the soft and moist texture, recognizable real food ingredients, and freshly-baked taste – in addition to the fact that they’re allergen-conscious.
Brüks Bars was founded in 2013 by a couple with no prior experience in food or business, Brooke and Sean Muldoon. They started cooking together because they couldn’t find a good snack product that was healthy and accessible to Sean based on his food intolerances.
Each bar is made weekly with carefully selected ingredients, hand pressed with care, and baked in small batches. They quickly became ingrained in the growing Charlotte food startup community.
They’re found today in more than 70 local retailers and ships boxes within the continental U.S. This will be the first major national retailer Brüks Bars is working with.
More big moves: The bars last week signed a deal with three stores in the Charlotte airport last week, and are currently working with Hilton in Atlanta and a few Hyatt hotels. They just inked their first retail partner in Raleigh, too: Harmony Farms Natural Food & Supplement Store.
“We’ve grown very organically with roots in Charlotte that have helped nourish our growth and development as a business,” Brüks Bars co-founder Brooke Muldoon said. “This opportunity to work with Whole Foods is huge because of their industry-setting standards and known reputation as a leader in the real food movement. It requires us to continue raising the bar to make the best possible products, which we consider an honor and a privilege.”
I was able to ask them a few questions on this new opportunity.
How many bars did Whole Foods purchase?
The Whole Foods in Charlotte purchased 18 boxes, or 216 bars. The order came after 10 months of working with the store to make a deal. The Cary store purchased one box, or a dozen bars as a test to see how fast they move.
“Although this is a great first order from them, it’s definitely on us to keep the bars moving so we can continue our relationship with them,” the Brüks Bars team said.
How are you thinking about driving down production costs?
In two ways: By being more efficient in the kitchen and buying in greater bulk.
“Our ingredients are expensive and our goal is to eventually become certified organic — so these costs likely won’t be going down soon. We order some ingredients with other small businesses which has helped enable us to order more and lower our costs.”