Local Food Entrepreneur: Five Friends Food

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five Friends Food

Meet Five Friends Food. Today is FAB (Food/Agriculture/Beverage) Friday and MN Cup will be featuring a series of local food entrepreneurs on Fridays, asking them questions about their business, and getting their insight on the Food Innovation Community in Minnesota. Five Friends Food was at MN Cup's EAT Event, on February 5. 

Tell us who you are – what do you do?
We are Five Friends Food. We make and market Fresh Bar – the first and only fresh refrigerated snack bar in the country. 

Fresh Bar was created by a pair of Minnesota twins, Will Handke and Ross Pomeroy (yes, different last names), who share a huge passion for healthy eating. In 2011, they began to wonder why there were so few good nutrition bars to choose from and why they all had to be served dry and come loaded with tasteless preservatives. Will and Ross were upset, but instead of throwing their hands up in disgust, they threw on their oven mitts and got to work.

The result of their effort is Fresh Bar. Will and Ross’s goal was to make a bar with natural, whole ingredients, that tastes great, is healthy, and maintains its straight-out-of-the-oven texture. They believe that Fresh Bar has accomplished this goal and they’d love for you to give them a chance to prove it! In 2012, Will and Ross were joined by three of their childhood friends, Austin Hinkle, Mike Steffan and Tom Johnson.

Five Friends Food

What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome?
Our biggest challenge has been finding the resources in terms of capital and manufacturing to be able to expand distribution of Fresh Bar.

What drew you to the EAT Event?
The opportunity to share Fresh Bar with hundreds of potential supporters and customers and to collect feedback that will help push our business forward.

What do you hope to see for the MN Food/Ag/Bev community in the future?
We hope that the MN Food community will soon be viewed as the genuine wellspring of innovation and opportunity that it really is.

Give us your advice for aspiring food entrepreneurs… in 6 words or less.
Take one day at a time.