No matter what side of the fence you were on for the 2016 presidential election, I think we can all agree at the very least, the pot has been stirred a LOT recently.
This note is not about the election though. It’s about a conversation I had with a new but good friend who reminded me how important it is to be open and real, especially during times like these. Because the only way to a future we believe in is to stop showing our social-media-ready selves, and show the world our true selves instead.
I believe in doing the same with brüks bars. In sharing not only our successes, but our struggles. When Sean and I started brüks bars, being authentic was easy. We were the brand. We were the bakers, the cleanup crew, the event marketing team. Although our team is still small, I have struggled to find a voice for us at times. Why? Because I’ve been afraid. I’ve been afraid to share too much “personal stuff” about our story without enough substance about the quality of our product, or to share too many of our struggles and seem smaller than we are.
I’ve always done my best to embrace fear in other aspects of my life and use it as fuel to grow, to become better, to push forward and create the life I want. But for some reason, the idea of figuring out what to share about our small but growing business, how much to share about our struggles, has left me paralyzed at times.
Well, today I’m coming clean. From this day forward, I give you my word that we will be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are going to TBTP, “Take Back the Power” to show you who we are and what we are working hard on every day at brüks bars. Because the truth is: I am so proud of what we’re doing. And also, it’s hard as hell.
Getting REAL Real
To me, it still feels surreal when people tell us they see the bars we made in our kitchen a few short years ago “everywhere.” I am so proud of our team, and of what we’ve accomplished. But behind the scenes, we are feeling growing pains. And we’re far from perfect: Our bags are still hard to open (new bags coming REAL soon!), we’re not 100% organic (but we ARE making great progress – our average organic ingredients/bar will be between 70-80% early next year!), and it seems almost every week our team has really high highs and some low lows. We are humans creating a brand from scratch. We are imperfect. That is OK.I have held us back as a brand. In some ways and not purposely, but because of my own fear. Fear that no matter how hard we work, we are not perfect yet. Fear of showing flaws that alter the image of a perfect, fast-growth startup. The balance between building a brand that not only represents and stays true to us, but also represents all of you and showcases our joys and struggles. Now that is a tall order…Any perfectionists out there who can relate?
I can’t promise we will ever be perfect, and for the sake of our team and myself, I have to stop striving for perfection.
A Promise to You
What I will promise is that these growing pains are coming from a place of goodness. That what makes a business like ours hard is not a lack of places to sell bars (though we do love selling more bars), but by refusing to waver from our core values. To use ingredients that are not cut with additives or preservatives. To refuse ones that are cheaper because they are filled with syrups or GMOs. What really matters to me, and our team, is to fight the good fight, for the things that matter. GOOD. INGREDIENTS. MATTER.
There are very few suppliers in the country that supply Granny Smith apples that don’t have additives. We found them. We’ve been pushed recently to use cheaper bulk ingredients from suppliers that are cut with “anti-stick” agents. When people try to push away from our core values, we find new suppliers, or request that they send us the ingredients straight up. We did a honey tasting to determine the exact type of honey/flavor we want to embody our bars. Same for cherries, cranberries, flax seed – and the list goes on.
We will never give up on fighting the good fight for: Real. Good. Food. We know this is what makes brüks bars different. Our Vision statement isn’t, ‘Fuel for YOU to change the world, one bite at a time’ for nada. This is our mission. Every day we’re hustlin’…for good food.
In my life, I’ve always done my best to embrace fear. To use it as fuel to grow, to become better, to push forward and make the life I’d wanted, happen.
Fear can embolden us, or stunt us, it’s all in how we choose to harness it.
To deliciously good health,
Brooke & Team brüks