This post has been sponsored by Lärabar®. All thoughts and opinions are my own
As an entrepreneur, I’m always inspired by stories of other women entrepreneurs who have made impact in their space and lead by example. Lärabar founder, Lara Merriken, is one of those women. I have followed the genesis of Lärabar after discovering their products at Whole Foods which always tasted freshly made unlike other bars available at the time. And as somebody who has a severe dairy allergy, they were a revelation. Their fruit and nut bars are made from 2-9 simple ingredients, they’re not baked or cooked, their protein bars are plant-based (wine for me!) as Lärabar prides itself on making products as close to their natural state as possible.
But what spoke to me was Lärabar’s back story and mission. Lara Merriken’s entrepreneurial journey, was much like mine, serendipitous. She was planning a hike in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and created recipes of bars containing only fruits, nuts and spices to sustain her on the hike. It was this event that proved to be transformative. Recognizing an unmet need for fresh bars with clean ingredients, this one hike was her inspiration to create Lärabar. She then used her friends and family as focus groups as she finessed the recipes and to eventually create five Lärabars. Her bars had immediate impact and was soon picked up by Whole Foods which allowed Lara to grow her business organically and now Lärabar is sold in stores around the world and includes over 30 varieties! Perhaps we should all hike more often! Now, whenever I peruse the aisles of Whole Foods (which I do now a few times a week as I have to cook for two toddlers), I smile when walking past the bar aisle knowing that my purchase will pay it forward.
Despite growing a global business, Lara never strayed from her mission and the company values. She speaks to me as a mother, philanthropist, entrepreneur, woman, and activist. Her story has inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, take professional risks, and recognize the importance of altruism and giving back to my community and advocating things that are “better for you”. I also love supporting the sisterhood of women entrepreneurs and female-led businesses and recognize together we can learn, grow, and break glass ceilings for the next generation of women like my daughter. Lärabar has partnered with Whole Foods foundation who works to alleviate poverty by funding microcredit in communicates that supply Whole Foods stores with products. Their focus is on women in the developing world, where a small loan can help a very poor entrepreneur build a home-based business so she can create a better life for her family. Lärabar isn’t just nourishing your stomach, but nourishing souls by changing the lives of so many women who just need support to grow their businesses. You can learn more about the Whole Planet foundation through this link https://www.wholeplanetfoundation.org
I love food that tastes great. I love it more when it gives back. Hope you will join me in including Lärabar in your shopping cart the next time you shop at Whole Foods. I’m sure you will love it too!
Photos by: Laura Metzler