Greens Gone Wild Brings Healthy Ingredients to Tasty Protein Bars - s11 ep56

Co-Founders Laura Harris and Zach Meier Are Raising Money for the Colorado-Based Business Using CrowdSprout

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Devin: Laura, what do you see as your superpower?

Laura: I'm very friendly, I'm outgoing, and I like to get to know people.

Devin: Zach, what do you see as your superpower?

Zach: I will be the first to admit I don't have the charisma of Laura. I'm constantly thinking about food and flavors and combos and what's going to go good together.

Laura Harris and Zach Meier and building a healthy vegan protein bar company in Colorado. This enables them to take advantage of Colorado’s intrastate exemption from securities rules for IPOs to raise capital from the local crowd exclusively.

The company has three flavors on the market:

  1. Blueberry Coconut

  2. Salted Chocolate Cherry

  3. Peanut Butter Banana

The last one was a challenge for Zach, the chef who develops the bars. “A funny story with the peanut butter banana. I am deathly allergic to bananas,” he says. “So creating that recipe for the peanut butter banana bar was a bit of a task. It was a lot of whipping up some ingredients, putting them together, having people taste them, getting their honest feedback, and then just, like, doing it again.”

Laura shares how she came up with the idea:

Having worked in the service industry for most of my adult life, you never get a break. Protein bars became a staple of my diet. I always had one on my server apron if I was serving or on top of the register if I was bartending. 

Back in 2018 summer, I was bartending a lunch shift, took a bite of another competitor's bar and thought, man, I wish this thing was packed with spinach. I would love for it to not contain any artificial flavors and no refined or added sugar.

I thought about it for a few minutes and did some searching on Google and Amazon, and there was nothing like it. So, six months later, I enlisted the help of Zach. 

Zach is passionate about making great products. “Creating these recipes was a lot of fun, just with the ideology of super minimal ingredients. Everything is clean, everything all-natural, you know, not using any chemicals or preservatives, or added sugars because I always like to say that real foods taste the best.”

Investing in the company is an opportunity to have impact in several ways. The company founder is an LGBTQ woman, ticking two impact boxes for investors with goals to support diverse founders. The products are vegan, which could have climate and animal welfare benefits. The bars are healthy, potentially helping people to live longer, healthier lives. That’s a lot of impact!

The company is raising via CrowdSprout.co under state crowdfunding laws, limiting investors to that state.

AI Episode Summary

1. Devin Thorpe hosts Laura Harris and Zach Meier on the Superpowers for Good show to discuss their company, Greens Gone Wild.

2. Laura started Greens Gone Wild to create snack bars packed with spinach and no added sugars or unnatural flavors.

3. The company offers three products: Almond Butter with Blueberry and Coconut, Salted Chocolate Cherry, and Peanut Butter Banana bars.

4. They are crowdfunding on Crowdsprout.co, a Colorado-exclusive platform where locals can invest and receive equity and bars and contribute to a charity.

5. Laura's future plan involves living a van life to promote the product across Colorado; Zach will handle backend operations.

6. Laura's superpower is her ability to genuinely connect with people and her passion for real food ingredients.

7. Zach's superpower lies in his culinary skills, particularly in creating exciting flavor profiles with clean, natural ingredients.

8. Both find using their skills to contribute to the well-being and diets of their customers and their communities rewarding.

9. Laura encourages listeners to visit their website to purchase products and consider investing in the growth of the company.

10. The co-founders' dedication to providing healthy and tasty snack options is underscored by their interaction with customers and commitment to quality ingredients.

Want to invest but live outside Colorado, share this with friends in the state.


How to Develop Interpersonal Skills As a Superpower

Laura says that her ability to relate well with people is a critical part of her success in business. She honed her ability to care for and about people after her father had a stroke.

The biggest time where I really was able to give a lot of myself to someone else was when I took care of my dad. He had a right-side ischemic stroke and was on the floor for three days before anybody found him. So, he was not doing great when our neighbor found him. 

So, I moved from Minneapolis back to my home state of Virginia to help him and just see him through this healing journey post-stroke. There were so many challenges that he faced. I always made sure I showed up for him every day and did anything that he needed me to do and help out in all the ways that were best for him, to give him love and support and make sure he had a good last five years of life.

Laura says the first thing to do to strengthen interpersonal skills is to listen. “When you ask someone questions, be genuine. Pause. Let them finish. That'll be lesson number one.”

“Show love,” she says of a second aspect of developing interpersonal skills. “If someone needs help, help them do it out of the goodness of your heart. And, uh, not just to try to gain something.”

By following Laura’s example and advice, you can strengthen your interpersonal skills. With practice, you can make them a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

How to Develop Culinary Skills As a Superpower

Zach shares the story of how he uses his culinary superpower:

I grew up kind of in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming. Not kind of, like in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming. It was a food desert up there. 

Being from just such a small kind of reclusive community, people aren't necessarily open to trying new foods. The idea of veganism up there, or like, health foods, is still a poked fun at subject. 

I've been able to, when I go home when I visit family, bring some food culture back to them, to maybe open their eyes a little bit more. Just because it says vegan, just because it says spinach, just because it says protein bar, doesn't necessarily mean that it’s going to be gross.

It's this ideology of, like, oh, spinach is gross. Spinach is a relatively flavorless ingredient. Adding the combination of its fruit, its vegetables–just because it’s vegan, it’s not bad. It's not scary.

His advice to people is to “Just eat it” when you are presented with a new food to try!

By following his example and advice, you can strengthen your culinary skills. With practice, you could make them a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

Guest Profile

Laura Harris (she/her):

Founder & CEO, Greens Gone Wild

About Greens Gone Wild: Welcome to Greens Gone Wild! The CPG industry's only non-GMO, vegan, spinach-packed protein bar loaded with a full serving of spinach. Our bars are gluten and soy-free. Plus, there's no added sugars, fillers, or preservatives. We believe in a genuinely healthy bar with ingredients we know, like, and trust. In our bars, you'll find nut or seed butter, dates, unsweetened, dehydrated fruit, pea protein, spinach, a touch of sunflower lecithin, and just a few more real-food ingredients. If you're a health-conscious, busy individual looking to get your greens on the go, we've got the perfect nutrient-dense, chewy, tasty, won't-get-stuck-in-your-teeth bar. At Greens Gone Wild, we're giving you protein, energy, and greens on the go!

Website: greensgonewild.com

Company Facebook Page: facebook.com/eatgreensgonewild

Instagram Handle: @eatgreensgonewild

Other URL: crowdsprout.co

Biographical Information:
Meet Laura Harris, a passionate entrepreneur in her early forties originally from Virginia but now proudly rooted in the vibrant landscape of Colorado. Driven by her love for spinach, her dogs, and the mountainous scenery, Laura embarked on a transformative journey to fulfill her true calling. Her brainchild, Greens Gone Wild, was born from a simple wish for a protein bar packed with spinach. Determined to create a vegan protein bar with minimal ingredients and no added sugars, she has successfully combined her love for healthy living with her entrepreneurial spirit. Laura's personal growth, marked by a significant break from alcohol and five years of caring for her father, stands alongside the flourishing success of her business as her three proudest accomplishments. With unwavering determination, she continues to share her spinach obsession with the masses, turning Greens Gone Wild into a household name, one spinach-packed protein bar at a time.

Personal Facebook Profile: facebook.com/harriselaura

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/laura-harris-i267424

Instagram Handle: @the.laura.edition

Zach Meier (he/him):

Co-founder and chief chef, Greens Gone Wild

Biographical Information: I am a former professional chef, ending my culinary career as an executive pastry chef. Making food clean, with the knowledge of flavors, helped create the Delicious flavors of Greens Gone Wild. Our bars stand out from the crowd for that reason. 

Personal Facebook Profile: Facebook.com/ztmeier

Instagram Handle: @zmeier91

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