Just a few years ago, Alden Blease was a broke student looking to supplement his college meal plan on the cheap. Knowing full well that junk food left him feeling, well… junky, he started experimenting with mixing his hunger-banishing blend of nuts, grains and superfoods.
Fast-forward to 2018 and Alden has turned his passion for healthy belly-filling into a bonafide business: R.E.D.D. Bar. Based in Portland, the company produces an array of vegan energy bars that are now carried in over 1,000 stores nation-wide. The original Chocolate flavor has been followed by delicious-sounding options like Mint Chocolate and Salted Caramel—all with an added caffeine kick-in-the-pants.
So far R.E.D.D.’s strategy of enticing young people who tread just a bit outside of cultural norms—vegans, action sports aficionados—seems to be paying off in spades. They have a robust social media presence and even a cleverly named ambassador program: The R.E.D.D. Heads.
Not bad for a company started by a hungry kid!