Happy Friday! Hope it’s been a great week. Lots of exciting things happening over here, it’s been a crazy week (in the good crazy way). I’m looking forward to a fun weekend. I have a surprise date night planned for Saturday night that I’m pretty pumped about.
I’m also pumped about today’s post. I’m introducing you to two local business owners who have created an amazing product.
Over a year ago I met Brooke and Sean at Reid’s where they were sampling their Bruks Bars. I got to chatting with them and learned that Brooke developed these gluten, dairy, soy and egg free bars when Sean was in graduate school. Sean has food allergies that prevent him from eating a lot of common snack foods. He was struggling to find healthy snacks to sustain him through long hours of studying so Brooke decided to create her own. She started playing around with homemade bar recipes and developed a bar that Sean loved so much that he started eating them daily.
His friends started asking about the bars and requesting that Brooke make some for them as well. They initially sold the bars to friends and family before deciding that what they had was good enough to take to the next level.
Brooke reached out to me again a few months ago to reconnect. She invited me to visit them in the kitchen while they were baking bars and to a special Bruks Bar and coffee tasting event at Atherton Market.
I was totally impressed by their bar making operation. They are now making four flavors of bars and they hand make every single bar. They rent space in a commercial kitchen and it was really cool to see how everything works on a larger scale.
They bake twice a week and each baking session takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours start to finish. The evening I visited they were making 16 batches which would yield about 400 bars. And let me just add that they do this after working all day. Sean is a former collegiate athlete and has a day job as a sports performance coach at UNCC. Brooke works full-time supporting the business. She’s a one woman baker, delivery person, packager, distributor, sampler, marketer, manager…she does it all with the help of Sean and one part-time employee.
The original bar fatures dates, peanut butter, almonds, coconut oil, honey, chocolate, oats, dried cranberries and a few other ingredients. They also have apricot chocolate, apple pecan and cranberry espresso. Brooke shared that the original and apple pecan sell best. The bars retail for $3 each and have 210-250 calories per bar.
The cherry espresso is the newest bar flavor and it’s actually made with crushed espresso beans. Each bar actually has 17mg of caffeine. A couple of months ago Bruks Bars partnered with local coffee shop Not Just Coffee for a Bruks Bar and coffee pairing. I was a really unique and different event and the bars paired so well with the coffee.
Bruks Bars are currently available for sale in Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Richmond, Charleston and Chicago to name a few. When I visited them in the kitchen they were going through the rigorous process of getting approved to sell their bars in Whole Foods. We will be carrying them at Y2 Yoga soon! 🙂
If the bars aren’t available in your area you can purchase the bars on the Bruks Bar site!
I wanted to share Brooke and Sean’s story with you because I think it’s inspiring to see people following their passions and I also love to support local businesses. Brooke and Sean are working so hard to make their dream a reality and it’s my sincere hope that the long hours in the kitchen pay off for them because they have created a really amazing product.
Also, be sure to follow Brooke’s blog on the Bruks Bar site. It’s pretty awesome and she posts about all kinds of fitness and health topics.
How about a giveaway? Leave a comment letting me know which flavor you think sounds best and I’ll enter you to win a package with all four bars. Giveaway open until Sunday at midnight. U.S. residents only.