Young Minneapolis Food Start-Up Takes Their One-of-a-Kind, Refrigerated Snack Bars to the Nation’s Top Grocer

Monday, November 16, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS-- Minneapolis-based startup Five Friends Food is expanding out of state for the first time as their line of refrigerated granola bars -- Fresh Bar -- hits the shelves of the nation’s top grocer, Wegmans. Five Friends Food was a 2014 semifinalist in the MN Cup Food/Ag/Beverage Division.

Fresh Bar

Five Friends Food was formed back in 2012 by Will Handke and Ross Pomeroy, identical twins (with different last names), and three of their childhood friends, Mike Steffan, Tom Johnson, and Austin Hinkle. While growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, the friends often teamed up to try interesting things, from filming sketch comedy, to creating electronic music, to building fighting robots, so it was a natural decision to launch a business together.

For the past three years, Will, Ross, Tom, Austin, and Mike have baked their unique snack bars out of a local community kitchen and hand-delivered them to stores in Minnesota. But now, with a new kitchen space of their own and a group of dedicated investors from Minnesota’s Gopher Angels, they aim to share their fresh, refrigerated granola bars with the rest of the country.

Thirty-nine Wegmans stores in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States will carry Fresh Bar. Wegmans, a grocery store chain based out of Rochester, New York,  was heralded as the top large U.S. grocery store by Consumer Reports both in 2014 and 2012.

Fresh Bar originally launched in 2012 in the Eastside and Wedge Co-ops of Minneapolis and quickly garnered the support of local Minnesota grocers such as Lunds & Byerly’s and Kowalski’s. Two years later, Five Friends Food and Fresh Bar reached the semifinals of the Minnesota Cup, Minnesota’s premier entrepreneur competition. Now, after three years of development, including a name change, the addition of three flavors, a production facility relocation, and two packaging revisions, the five friends are ready to take Fresh Bar beyond their home base.

Fresh Bar

“We’re very excited to share Fresh Bar with the shoppers of Wegmans,” said Will Handke, Fresh Bar’s CEO. “We’ve spent almost three years working closely with the customers and retailers of Minnesota to develop Fresh Bar. Now, after incorporating the great feedback they provided, we’re ready to introduce Fresh Bar to the rest of the country.”

Fresh Bar comes in four distinct flavors: Cherry Pear Walnut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana, Apple Almond Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Carrot Pecan. Baked with a slate of simple ingredients, including real fruit purées and rolled oats, the bars feature a naturally soft texture and an unmatched taste. You almost wouldn’t know they were healthy, but they are. Each bar has roughly twenty grams of whole grains, four grams of fiber, and eight grams of protein. Fresh Bar is also gluten-free.

Snackers around Minnesota have fallen in love with Fresh Bar for its taste, simplicity, and authenticity. Will, Ross, Tom, Austin, and Mike – the Five Friends behind Fresh Bar – couldn’t be more excited to show residents of other states what they’ve been missing.


Tom Johnson, Marketing Director:, 507-340-2729

Will Handke, CEO:, 507-317-9422