As you likely have heard, potentially even through the rumbling of your stomach, we’ve had some fairly serious supply chain problems lately and have been flat out of stock of all bars for about four weeks. Yikes! Well, I let my employees relay all the bad news and saved the good news for myself... So, finally, here is some good news!
Our NEW bars (yes, updated, upgraded, NEW bars) are available, in all flavors, and we have plenty! So cheer, rejoice, and buy as many as you need to stop that tummy growling!
I’m super proud of this moment in Picky history as it’s not only turning a corner from maybe our “lowest low,” but is (more importantly) the culmination of a year's worth of super hard work by our entire team. While this has an obvious and very exciting impact now, it's also very exciting for our big picture, allowing us to better fulfill our mission of fueling great experiences for as many people as possible.
First some backstory. For the first few years, Picky Bars were made by hand in mine and Lauren’s home until Lauren’s hands nearly fell off and we literally couldn’t get enough helping hands in the kitchen to keep up with demand. We upgraded to a great co-packer in Washington state - also a small and growing business - where we’ve had our bars made for the last six years. They were a great fit for a really long time, but in the last 18 months or so we began straining their capacity, realizing that we needed more room to grow.
Around the same time, we identified two other “problems” we wanted to tackle: Packaging and ingredients. As we added more retail channels to the mix (natural grocery, outdoor stores, specialty, etc), we heard feedback that while the packaging was certainly cool, community-driven, and on brand, it was hard to understand what the product and flavor was, particularly to those who were discovering it for the first time. We also heard resistance about our use of agave, which makes the bars soft and chewy and provides a little bit of readily available energy to balance the slower digesting nut butters and whole fruits. While we source responsible, high quality agave, widespread use in the industry of low-grade uber processed agave has turned a lot of people off, so we took the opportunity to explore alternatives to see what we might like better.
So we had this mega multi-problem to solve, all in one big swoop - Find a new co-packer with more scale, redesign packaging, and tweak our recipes. As I mentioned in episode 12 of our podcast, changing direction for a “big ship” takes a lot of time and effort from everyone involved, and boy did it ever.
Well, after almost 12 months of ups, downs, taste-tests, contract negotiations, and extensive conversations over ampersand usage, that ship is ready to set sail! We found a great new co-packer just over the hill in McMinnville, OR to work with, and Lauren, the team, and I are super proud of the final product - We’re super excited for you to see and taste it (them)!
With our “new” bar launching you will find -
There are a lot of advantages with this move, but maybe most exciting to you is that we’ll have more capabilities for developing new products and marketing activities. No promises on whats or whens or whosits, but you have my permission to get at least little excited about what’s down the road! For me as an owner and CEO and spreadsheet guy, it’s exciting because it’ll put the business in a much healthier place financially, help a ton with forecasting, and we'll be able to (hopefully sooner than later) start digging out of this hole we've gotten ourselves in over the last 18 months. It’s also our hope that these improved processes will eventually allow us to get our price point down. This is not an easy thing to do when you make high quality products at a relatively small scale, but I wanted you guys to know that we are doing our best working towards that goal of being more accessible to more people. Lots of good stuff to come...
Thank you all so much for encouraging and supporting us through these changes! The positive responses - from Picky Clubbers to our biggest retailers - have been overwhelming and much appreciated during the rough last few weeks. We’re stoked to get this product to you! As always, if you have any feedback, questions, or comments please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to reply to every one, but I’ll definitely read and take them all to heart!
PS - I wanted to give a massive public thanks to all of our employees for the individual contribution they all made to make this step possible.
Refreshed from family vacation, Jesse and Lauren talk about athletes making political statements, high mileage for young runners, and how to battle injuries as an aging athlete.
L & J answer listener questions about faith and belief, training for the marathon as a triathlete, finding balance and passion in a career, and coaching a partner. Plus USATF Champs!