Pure Bar. It’s the healthful snack staple stocked in the WYSK office, compliments of our active co-founder, Jen. She got turned on to the grab-and-go nutrition bars after seeing a woman with one in her cart at Trader Joe’s and striking up a conversation to inquire what the “gluten-free, organic, vegan” bar was all about. While it’s true that Pure Bar had Jen at the word “brownie” in the flavor description, she was even more intrigued after a quick scan of the label (antioxidants, protein, fiber, omega-3s) and instantly head-over-heels in love after her first bite. Since, Jen has gotten the rest of us on the Pure Bar bandwagon with zero arm twisting. Aside from being DELICIOUS and making us feel good, not guilty, about eating them, it turns out there is a truly WYSKy reason for us to tout their praises… the woman behind them. Meet Pure Bar Founder, Veronica Bosgraaf, a mom turned entrepreneur on a mission to create a healthy, packaged, snack food for her 6 year old daughter that the rest of us now get to enjoy as well.
Veronica’s inspiring, taking matters into her own hands, Pure Bar story started in 2004 at her family’s dinner table. Her youngest daughter, Anna, then only 6-years-old and having just visited a petting zoo, declared herself a vegetarian, refusing to “eat any animal that was once alive”. Seeing Anna’s conviction, Veronica validated her young-daughter’s choice by researching the vegetarian lifestyle and whether it could truly be safe enough for both adults as well as children. She found that it was not only safe, but also a healthier, more economical and environmentally-friendly choice. In addition, Veronica saw it as an opportunity for she and her daughter to explore a new way of eating together.
After a few years of eating vegetarian, organic and raw foods had inevitably become staples in Veronica and Anna’s diets. That’s when the on-the-go Mom with the very active daughter started to notice and be frustrated by the complete lack of healthy, packaged, snack foods available in markets – specifically foods that were organic and raw, but still tasty and convenient enough to throw in Anna’s lunch box and/or her own purse. So, Veronica decided to fill that void by making her own.
Veronica’s requirements were stiff. She would only use real ingredients, organic fruits and healthy nuts untouched by harmful herbicides and pesticides. No refined sugars, no chemicals, no genetically-modified stuff. She wanted ingredients rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3 fats. Most importantly, it had to taste amazing, especially to a 6 year old. Using nothing but a food processor and whole, simple ingredients from her own kitchen, the Pure Bar was born.
Following hundreds of hours in the kitchen and dozens of dinner-table taste-tests, Veronica perfected her recipes. She made chocolate “brownies” with organic cocoa, dates, almonds, walnuts, agave nectar and brown rice protein first, then created recipes for Trail Mix, Apple Cinnamon, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry Orange and Cherry Cashew. After securing the two-thumbs up on deliciousness from Anna, Veronica began bringing the bars to school and to family functions. People were so impressed with how great they tasted, and were completely shocked when they found out how healthy the bars were. Seeing the success of her bars on a local level, a seed of ambition started to grow in Veronica. She believed that her Pure Bars could be available to everyone. After more than a year of searching for the right manufacturer, working on perfecting her recipes and creating a shelf-stable product, Veronica finally found a way to get her product to the masses. The rest is history.
What’s In EVERY Pure Organic Bar
All ingredients are certified organic – All the ingredients are grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Instead of refined sugars, Agave nectar is used. This nectar, harvested from the Blue Agave plant, looks and tastes just like honey without significantly raising your blood sugar.
Walnuts (raw, not roasted!) can be found in each flavor. They provide a-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient. Omega 3’s are the good fats that help with brain function, stabilize cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
Almonds (raw, not roasted!) are rich in vitamin E, a tremendously heart-healthy vitamin. Almonds also work as a natural preservative, giving the bars added shelf life.
Antioxidants are chemicals that fight damaging “free radicals” that roam your body and are proven to cause disease. Pure Bar is made with high antioxidant foods. Some of the highest are: raw cacao nibs, cocoa powder, wild blueberries, cherries, raw sunflower seeds, cranberries, apples, dates and nuts. All of these ingredients provide antioxidants and retain their nutrients longer because the ingredients are cold processed and not cooked.
Rice Protein – This plant-derived protein is easier to digest than other proteins such as soy or whey. Each bar boasts between 5 and 7 grams of protein.
No preservatives; No artificial ingredients; No harmful additives; No refined added sugars; No trans fats; No Soy; No Dairy
Veronica has done all of the hard work creating Pure Bar, now all we have to do is happily continue to eat the fruits and nuts of this Woman You Should Know’s labor.
All photos included in this post are credited to Myron Beck Photography.