Leah Melnik & Stephanie Melnik
Tell us about your business.Awesome Bars were born out of Leah’s personal hunger for a healthy, delicious snack without additives, or GMO soy products. Leah was training for the San Francisco Marathon and was eating just about every protein energy bar on the market, but they were all missing something. She didn't feel awesome eating these over-processed, mushy, tasteless bars. So she sought to make her own energy bar that tasted as delicious as it looked with simple, uncompromised ingredients. Awesome Bars are created by us sisters, Leah the chef, Stephanie the director, and our closest friends. We are a family owned, women run company with a strong bond and high moral standards. Everything about Awesome Bars is handcrafted; from mixing the batches, to cutting each bar, and packaging it with care. Love is the final ingredient listed and we know you can taste it! We are currently available in 200 independently owned retail locations in Northern CA with expansion into major cities across the nation.
What makes your business stand out?We are a fresh, delicious product. We work in small, manageable quantities like a bakery. Every bar is handcrafted. We use a compostable wrapper. We work with our family and friends to make something that we know will put a smile on your face. We use high quality ingredients! We believe in paying our employees fair wages. Awesome Bars are for AWESOME people! Whether they are running up mountains or running the world, it is our goal to ensure they have a healthy snack in hand for a happy belly.
What's the best business advice you've received?Start small. When my sister and I first started out, we met with other small business owners to share stories and learn from each other. San Franciscans love food, love eating and above all, they love telling each other about the newest delicious food they have discovered. One of our contacts encouraged us to start small and build our brand by partnering with same size companies. We discovered that the layer of dark chocolate on our bars pair well with a cup of coffee. And if there's one thing SF has an abundance of, it is independently owned coffee shops that take pride in crafting coffee one cup at a time. We set out on foot, meeting with coffee shop owners and gave them samples of our product, allowing our bars to do all the talking. They were sold on the taste and our story, and were excited to promote us to all their loyal customers. We were able to build brand recognition one neighborhood at a time by building strong relationships with each of our coffee shops.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
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