In our Supplier Stories series, we’re featuring our wonderful suppliers! So many of them have special stories, from women entrepreneurs to family farms to mission-driven folks who want to make a difference. Some are local — only available in a couple of stores or states — while others are growing along with us. Follow along as we share their tales.
While it’s true that This Bar Saves Lives sells several types of tasty snack bars — from decadent, crunchy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter & Sea Salt to kid-friendly Wild Berry or Chocolate Chip, “we aren’t really a snack bar company,” said cofounder Ravi Patel. (You might recognize him from roles in Grandfathered and Master of None.)
“We give people the opportunity to make a big impact with their everyday actions. When someone grabs one of our bars, they’re giving a nutrient packet to someone suffering from malnutrition. At the end of the day, we’re actually in the business of doing good.”
The notion came to fellow cofounders, Ryan Devlin (Jane the Virgin, Brothers and Sisters) and Todd Grinnell (One Day at a Time, Desperate Housewives), during a mission trip to Liberia. They saw firsthand how malnutrition affected communities there, but were hopeful when they learned how preventable and treatable it was via a food aid called Plumpy’Nut.
Two to three packets daily of the ready-to-eat peanut paste, packed with vitamins and minerals, “can bring a malnourished child back to a healthy weight in about seven weeks,” Ravi said — precisely why This Bar Saves Lives distributes them to clinics in food-scarce regions along with a similar supplement for children called Nutributter.
“I’m so grateful I don't have to worry about where my child's next meal is coming from,” said Kristen Bell, who met CEO Ryan Devlin on the season three set of Veronica Mars. “It pains me that so many mothers struggle to feed their children and I wanted to be a part of the solution.”
One-for-One Philanthropy Model
In the beginning, the creators of This Bar Saves Lives sat around in Ravi’s apartment trying to figure out the business. “Ryan would bake the first iterations of the bars in his kitchen and I would taste test, obviously. We all have to play to our strengths!” Kristen said. (She still weighs in on everything from flavor to packaging.)
They used the one-for-one philanthropy model to give customers a healthy snack and give life-saving food aid to people in need. “We’ve partnered with the leading experts in malnutrition, like Action Against Hunger, to ensure we only give the most effective aid to where it’s needed most,” Ravi said. Every day, This Bar Saves Lives posts the number of packets they donate on their website’s homepage — the tally is over 3 million.
Kristen remembers celebrating having sold enough bars to help save a hundred lives. “We had a little party and toasted to kids we would probably never meet,” she said. Today, the number of lives they’ve impacted has increased over 200 times that. Conscious consumers have proven that small actions can add up to big results by voting with their granola dollars.
As for the snacks themselves? “These aren’t just glorified candy bars,” Ravi said. They’re worth eating on their own merit — tasty and nutrient dense, they're made mostly of nuts and seeds, have little added sugar and provide a nice amount of fiber. They’re non-GMO verified, gluten-free and kosher, too. Snacking well and doing good has never been easier.
Find This Bar Saves Lives in select Whole Foods Market stores on the southern West Coast. Find a store near you and call to see if they carry This Bar Saves Lives.