One of the best parts of living and training in what we lovingly refer to as the “Boulder Bubble” is that it is bursting with active people. Everywhere you turn you can find someone hiking, biking, running or even hula hooping across an open field. (I’m still working on finding the picture that proves this last one.) With all these health obsessed citizens comes heaps of companies looking to fuel them. Every time I walk into a coffee shop the counter seems to be lined with new energy bars and supplements. Some are terrible, others are average and every now and then you stumble across a gem.
Now, let me qualify this. I’m a professional cyclist – what this basically means is that I get paid practically nothing to call 4+ hour training rides and multiple day stage races a common occurrence. Both the amount of time and bars consumed to fuel this endeavor is horrifying. In fact, I have not got the calculation quite down, but the evidence suggests that somewhere between your eight and nine-thousandth bar, the thought of eating another one becomes almost painful. So – the point of all this rambling – if I like a bar, it has to be delicious. Really delicious.
Which brings me to WB Kitchen. I was finishing a long workout in the mountains and still had about an hour of riding to get home. And I was bonking. So, I did what all cyclists do and headed straight to the coffee shop to get anything that would help me crawl back to my front door. I ordered an espresso and, in an attempt to use as little energy as possible, grabbed the closest package I could reach. The training gods were on my side because I grabbed a pack of what I soon would discover, were two ever so delicious WB Kitchen Maple Pecan cookies. Now, I’ve tried my fair share of “healthy” cookies. While there are a handful of exceptions, most should not be called cookies. “Protein cardboard” or “circle-shaped whey aftertaste” would be more appropriate. I was sure I was in-store for another dry, chalky excuse for a health food as I opened the package. As soon as I touched the first cookie I knew I was about to stand corrected – it was soft and delicious. Or I thought so at least. Keeping in mind that my bonk-fest had left me only slightly cognizant, I threw the second cookie in my jersey pocket for taste testing while I was fully functional. When I had it for my desert that night, it was just as good.
So the research began and I found out that the company’s offices were only located a few miles from my house in Loveland, CO. We met with WBk’s Marketing Director, Mimi and she started to tell us a bit more about the company. After about an hour of chatting over coffee we found out that all of the company’s awesomeness, including the production and packaging, came out of a team of five people. I thought that was pretty cool (especially since RunnerBox is a team of four) and I wanted to go check it out. Then she told me they have a half pipe in their warehouse. Now I REALLY wanted to check it out. We sorted out all the details of getting the bars and cookies in our October/November subscription boxes. (If you are currently a subscriber, you’re welcome!) Then we nailed down a date when I could go check out their offices and production facilities. It’s one thing to like a company’s products, but it’s another to actually like the company. As soon as you get your RunnerBox and try the ONA bar or cookies, I’m sure the liking the product part will be taken care of, but here are a few reasons to love the company.
1. Everything is made in house. By Mitchell.
He’s the cool dude in the middle.
2. They’ve nailed work-life balance
Exhibit A: The half-pipe. In the warehouse.
Exhibit B: The indiscriminate object hiding under the tarp – a grill.
As in… Cook-out Fridays.
3. They strive to deliver the best.
See that Ziploc on top of the production line? If something isn’t perfect, it’s set aside. There are Ziplocs like this all over the office. Great to know as a consumer, dangerous if you work there.
4. They’re innovative.
This Vemag machine is generally used to perfectly portion sausages. They use it to perfectly portion your bars.
5. They are a team of awesome folks who “believe in real food for real people”
So if you’re looking for healthy, non-GMO, delicious, real food made by a rad team, give WB Kitchen a shot. You won’t be disappointed. To learn more or order some of their delightful products, visit their website. And don’t forget to use the exclusive RunnerBox discount code WBKRUN20 which will knock a cool 20% off your first order.