The night Sean and I met, we talked our way from Madison Square Park to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We quickly discovered we had many things in common, including the street we both lived on. It was obvious that from that day on, our lives would never be the same. Of course we had yet to discover the entirety of that feeling, and that just two years later, we would be engaged and venturing into a business together, combining two things we love: food and health. From the get-go, food and a love for fitness brought us together like chocolate and peanut butter. After learning about Sean’s sensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy and egg, I jumped on the bandwagon, making gluten free snacks and meals that were diet-friendly for him and discovering foods I had never heard of – arrowroot, xanthan gum and garbanzo bean flour, anyone?!
Like most New Yorkers, we had little free time, but what time we had together we spent experimenting with new recipes and making trips into the city from Brooklyn for our beloved BabyCakes NYC treats and working out. It became our pastime and my obsession to find and make new foods that were diet compliant. Like many people, Sean didn’t always know of his sensitivities. He ate everything until he took a blood test at 18-years-old to ensure he was properly feeding himself for performance as a collegiate track athlete. He finally uncovered what he had dismissed as discomfort all his life, to be food allergies. Those cute rosy cheeks were actually a sign of inflammation from dairy intake, the dandruff and dry skin were results of excessive gluten and egg, and the acne was a combination of it all. This was the first connection Sean made between his body and the food he put in it. We loved making Sean treats that he wasn’t intolerant to, and the joy I felt when he ate something that he liked may have rivaled his joy while eating it. But after moving to Miami for Sean to pursue his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Miami we knew all the sweets weren’t going to cut it. Sean needed something that would sustain him for long days as a grad student and Graduate Assistant for the men and women’s basketball teams. Something nutrient rich, allergen-friendly and of course delicious too!
Over the course of a couple years, he had tried just about every bar out there, but there was nothing that he craved or loved, just things he tolerated. So one day, standing in the aisle of our local specialty foods store, a light bulb went off: we would try to make something better. After a few rounds experimenting with ingredients and portions, the first Original batch of brüks bars was born. The look on Sean’s face after his first bite said it all – we would no longer need to buy another bar that “worked” with Sean’s diet, because we had just created something he craved. We kept them to ourselves for months before casually sharing them with some friends and colleagues. What happened next was beyond us. Not only did they enjoy our bars – they demanded to buy them. And like a match that catches a flame, our little treats became a business. How did we end up with a headquarters in Charlotte, NC after our Miami run? We’ll share the gooey details next time! With love, Brooke