Growing up, my mom used to make “no bake” granola bars. They were the perfect snack for any part of the day with plenty of chocolate, peanut butter, and other yummy tasty fillings. When I ventured into my own kitchen years later, I aimed to recreate the recipe in a healthy way. I had been an avid mountain girl spending all of my time backcountry skiing, hiking, and mountain biking so I needed something to eat on my outings. I needed to make my moms granola bar with ingredients that gave me long lasting energy.
I am a firm believer in “you are what you eat” so I wanted to add quality, healthy ingredients for the heart, muscles, stomach, and mind. I also wanted to be putting something into my body that I was familiar with and connected to. I wanted to provide my friends with something made locally, not just something they picked up absentmindedly at the gas station. Each time I headed out on a new adventure with a friend, I’d have them try my bar and give me feedback. The feedback was consistently positive. I heard “You have to start selling these!” over and over.
In the beginning, I was reluctant to start a business because of all of the hassles. I had my dream job as a ski guide out West and I wasn’t ready to give that up for the headaches of being an entrepreneur. Then when a knee injury, and subsequent challenging ski days sidelined my guiding, I got more and more interested in finding something to replace my first passion. Something even better occurred before the business hit the ground however. Still reluctant to pack my recreational bags, I picked up Bikram yoga with my best friend who was my instructor. She had asked me the question “If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?” I answered “an owl”. Interestingly, she had asked another one of her students the same question to which he answered “an owl”. Being “in tune” as she was, she introduced us to one another. Somewhere between eagle and rabbit pose, we fell in love.
At our wedding, I gave out my energy bars as wedding treats. The whole family responded as my athletic friends had: “you have to start selling these”.With all of the positive feedback I received from those who ate my bar, and a move back to Vermont, I finally resolved to own up to my calling. I faced the worries of whether or not the bars would sell and believed in the underlying notion that people want to be healthy. They want to buy local, they want something that is yummy, and provides long lasting energy. When it came time for a name, I thought about my history with my husband and linked that to what my vision was when I first developed the bar. I came up with the acronym OWL which stands for original, wholesome and local.