I first met the founders of New Grounds Food at a Meetup in Somerville.
Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari were students at Northeastern University at the time. They told the group about the CoffeeBar they had developed which was organic, vegan, gluten-free and delicious.
They were still deep in the trenches of start-up mode and didn’t have any samples that night. Recently they sent a sample pack for me to try.
The sample pack contains two Mocha Latte CoffeeBars. The package is easy to open and durable enough to survive a trip to the gym, office or class in your bag.
The package opens easily and without a lot of noise. This makes it handy for class or to open when you are driving.
When I opened the package I got an immediate earthy, sweet aroma of coffee with complex, subtle hints of spices and chocolate.
Many energy bars look like and taste like a candy bar. CoffeeBar looks more like a chewy brownie that you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.
The main ingredients in Coffee Bars are organic dates and oats. This gives the bar a nice chewy, substantial mouth feel. Coffee Bar also contains chia seeds and cashews so you get some crunch and a nutty flavor.
The star ingredient in CoffeeBar is organic coffee. Johnny and Ali first came up with the idea for this product when they had 8AM classes at Northeastern and no time for coffee or breakfast. Coffee can spill and no one wants to hear you drinking it during lectures.
They came up with the idea of incorporating real coffee into a food bar that they could take with them and eat on the way to class or during a lecture.
With caffeine in a food bar they were able to incorporate coffee and breakfast into one convenient item for people on the go.
A great idea takes off
At the 2013 Husky Startup Challenge at Northeastern University, Coffee Bar was awarded “Audience Favorite Winner” and $500.
They pitched their product to the judges at the Entrepreneurs Club as “best way to have your coffee and breakfast all-in-one” without worrying about any spills or crumbs." They had a winning idea, but they still needed a way to get it into your hands: packaging. On September 22nd, 2014 they started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first minimum order of packaging for their CoffeeBars. Within 15 hours they received the full $10,000 that they needed. Over the next 44 days they raised nearly $50,000 from 1,000 backers. When you see and open a CoffeeBar package, you can tell that the money was well spent. The package is attractive and durable. It is also easy and quiet to open.
How to get CoffeeBarsCurrently CoffeeBars are available on line at the New Grounds Food Shop. You can buy a 2 bar sample pack or a 12 bar box. For added convenience Johnny and Ali offer a subscription service. You can get monthly deliveries for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
My opinionI love coffee, so I found their idea intriguing. I was concerned that the bar would taste like coffee grounds or just not be that great. There are new food bar products all the time and some are just not that good. It turns out that the bars do taste good and are easy to eat without a mess. No crumbs and nothing sticks to your fingers either. I could see having a box of these in the office for a morning snack. For a runner heading out early for a race or a long run, CoffeeBars would be a great way to get your caffeine and breakfast. I need to have some coffee before I race or go out for a long run. It's part of my routine. The durable packaging makes it easy to keep a few in your running bag. For this review I received a sample 2-pack of CoffeeBars to try. All opinions are my own.
- Have you ever tried CoffeeBars?
- Do you need caffeine before you race?