I grew up like most kids in the 80’s – full of processed, convenient foods. When I went to college, I decided that it was time for a change. I wanted to look good and feel good about my body. I started working out but I was not aware of what I should or should not be eating. It took me years of eating to find out that the “healthy” foods I was eating were just junk in disguise, full of sugar and artificial ingredients. I wanted to find out how food was made and how its mass produced in manufacturing plants. I wondered how mass manufactured food could be fresh when it had to be stored in warehouses all over the USA for months at a time. It had to be made in giant machines.
So I spent an enormous amount of time researching about nutrition, talking to dietitians and looking for a protein bar free of junk and was made fresh weekly. I could not find any. I learned quite a bit about the way most of the food in the US is produced and processed --- and what I learned was pretty grim. Most food is made in such large quantities that it requires special chemicals or preservatives to make it go through the giant machines. Produce or food the manufactures use is grown on vast factory farms with little or no regard for the environment, and so on. The quality of the food is degraded by the time its turned into the product they intended. By the time the consumer sees it on the shelf it’s been sitting in a warehouse for months. Food that is made to last for more than a couple months cannot be good for you.
After all this discovery, I learned that there is a better way. I met ranchers and farmers dedicated to raising livestock and growing produce using responsible, respectful, and sustainable techniques. By partnering with these producers we figured we could make a difference in the world of food. After seeing how things could be done, I decided to start making my own protein bar with raw nuts, seeds, fruits and superfoods. I wanted it to be fresh made weekly and not mass produced. After a few trials and errors, I shared my creation with a few workout buddies and they loved the real taste of it and how the bars made them feel good about what they were eating!
I then tested a few flavors at Gold’s Gym and they liked it enough to want to start carrying it immediately. In March 2011 I started selling Papa Steve's Bars at Golds Gym Venice, followed by Whole Foods Venice 6 months later. Today, our bars are sold online and in local Southern California stores and up north in Santa Cruz.
Steven Diebold, founder and owner of Papa Steve’s No Junk Raw Protein Bars.
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