Small Business Success Story: G2G Bars
From the family kitchen to grocery store shelves, G2G Bar founder Casey Child shares the impressive journey of his protein bars and offers tips for other business owners.
As a former college baseball star and professional baseball player, Casey Child understands the connection between nutrition and performance.
He first formulated a protein bar for his family’s active lifestyle. A decade later, his Good 2 Go (G2G) protein bars have a loyal social media following, thousands of subscribers, and a presence in nearly 1,500 stores in the United States and Canada.
Here, Child shares his experience as an entrepreneur, what separates him from the competition, and tips for other businesses facing challenges.
What do you want people to know about your small business?
I began making energy bars for myself with the nutritional profile and ingredients I wanted for my own needs. I would make the bars one pan at a time, wrap them in foil and take them with me golfing and to the gym. My wife, Shannon, was running marathons at the time, and the bars would get her through long runs without upsetting her stomach.
I was golfing one day and pulled out one of the foil-wrapped bars for a quick snack. The friend I was golfing with said, “You should start a business” — and so I did.
I started G2G Bars not knowing anything about the food industry or how difficult it is to compete in. The bar industry is crowded and there are big players who control shelf space. But that was start of it, and I was naive enough to keep going.
We refined the product and turned it into what we have today. That was 10 years ago. People responded well and now we have a national presence.
What separates your small business from your competitors?
Sometimes you get protein bars that are mass manufactured. Companies will get a stock bar and throw their own label on it. I developed all the flavors myself, using organic ingredients like whole oats, flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut oil. We called a food scientist early on to make sure they are shelf stable and safe. The food scientist helped us get dialed in to optimize the shelf life, nutrition and flavor profile of the bars.
G2G is a refrigerated protein bar. We don’t use any preservatives and that’s another thing that makes it so special. It has a one-month shelf life out of the fridge and an eight-month refrigerated shelf life.
It’s the taste that distinguishes our bars in the market. You can have the healthiest bar in world, but if it doesn’t taste good, no one will buy it. We do all our own production, from sourcing to shipping, so if something goes wrong it’s on us, and if something goes right it’s also on us.
How can people help support your small business?
Give G2G bars a try. A lot of people incorporate grab-and-go snacks into their day. G2G bars are something you can feel good about eating — a healthy alternative to fast food and soda. Give them a shot, mix them into your routine and support a local business.
Have you had to adjust your operations in light of coronavirus?
Packaged foods sales haven’t been affected by the pandemic. People can still buy G2G bars in stores or order them online. However, the current situation has impacted how we get our ingredients and supplies.
Due to shipping delays from suppliers, we’ve had to order more ingredients at a time to make sure we have a steady supply. Earlier this year, for example, one of our packaging suppliers got hit by the virus and their shipments were delayed a month. We have had to plan ahead and that’s been the biggest hoop we’ve jumped through during the pandemic.
We’ve also been doing temperature checks every day at work and making sure people are wearing masks. We’re very cautious to make sure employees can stay home when they’re sick and not worry about their job or whether they’ll be paid.
What tips do you have for small businesses facing hardship/challenges?
When you first start a business, it’s very hard. Keep grinding and don’t quit. If you believe in a product, go after that 100%. You can’t do it passively. There are going to be times when no one else believes in you, and you have to believe in yourself.
Ready to turn your idea into a thriving business? Zions Bank offers online business tools and our Business Resource Centers in Salt Lake City and Boise provide counseling and training for entrepreneurs.
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