Meet Chad + Hanna
There was a lot going on at the start of it all – so much so it’s often hard to find the right words to begin. We launched our flagship Nash Bar product, Peanut Butter Bliss, in January of 2019. But it’s all the stuff leading up to that moment, and after, that we think you should know.
Chad's first career began in 2011 as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Owner of Nashdog Barbell. It was an underground barbell club located in the heart of Youngstown, Ohio. It’s also where he and Hanna first met. Nashdog grew to become a renowned training facility for athletes of all levels – traveling near and far just to train with Coach Chad.
In August of 2014, Hanna decided to create a blog just before leaving for her first year away at college. Her goal was to share her favorite healthy recipes and thoughts on wellness with the world, while managing life as a full-time student. Rightfully it was titled, Keg Stands & Kettlebells, and it became the most important part of her story.
Chad meets Hanna and the rest is history. Just kidding – the rest is the important part!
Over the next five years Nashdog continued to expand into the greater Youngstown area, where Chad had the opportunity to work with athletes, first responders, and became the official physical training consultant for the local SWAT Team. Hanna graduated with a degree in Nutrition, while continuing to grow her blog, The Healthiest Me (the name had to grow up too, we suppose). In the summer of 2018, she decided to bring her blog to life, sharing homemade all-natural protein balls with the Youngstown community while working with clients.
Hanna had zero experience running a business, but she loved two things: feeding people and helping people. Chad had a lot of experience with running a business and he also loved two things: feeding people and helping people. It really was this light bulb - perfect storm - kind of moment. We knew we could make this something special if we could do it together.
We launched our first Nash Bar in January of 2019. We developed a recipe in our small apartment kitchen for our first flavor – Peanut Butter Bliss – and tested it nearly two million times. Only kidding, but it felt that way after eating Nash Bars (and only Nash Bars) for three days.
Our goal was to create an all-natural protein bar made with simple ingredients, 20 grams of quality protein and free from artificial ingredients or sweeteners, gluten, soy and dairy. We were always on the go and searching for clean, high protein options but felt they always fell short. If a bar was high in protein, the ingredient label looked like another language and our bodies did not thank us later. If they were entirely natural, the amount of protein landed below 12 grams, leaving us hungry and unsatisfied. Flavor and texture were also important to us – we wanted soft, sweet and salty. Enjoyable to eat and easy to digest. We just weren’t getting that from anything on the market.
With our recipe in hand and food processor on our kitchen counter, we gave it a go! We created our “packaging” out of clear bags and stickers, ordered flyers and used mailing boxes as our product boxes. Our goal was to sell just ten boxes a month – a side project to put something good into the world and our bellies. We sold sixty boxes within the first few hours of launching our make-shift website and instantly knew that the Nash Bar was needed and would be here to stay.
After four months, our apartment quickly became filled with jars of almond butter, product boxes, and packaging supplies. We decided it was time to take the leap and find Nash a new home. Soon after, we moved into a garden-level space in Youngstown and made the absolute best of it for the next two years.
The first couple of years passed by in the blink of an eye. It has been the most challenging, exciting and rewarding thing either of us have done. We have learned so much about ourselves and what we value as a company (of two), and for the future of our business. The support we received, and still receive, is unlike anything we could’ve imagined. We still pinch ourselves from time to time just to make sure this is all real.
After nearly three years in our hometown of Youngstown, we decided to move our kitchen facility to one of our favorite cities – Columbus, Ohio! We are still a team of two with one food processor and a dream. Or as Chad would say, “Just two kids just having fun.”
As we approach our fourth year in business, we just want to say thank you. Whether you’ve been there with us from the start or stumbling upon our shop today, we truly couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you for sharing the love natural, healthy and delicious food with us and thank you for believing in our vision. We’re beyond excited to see where the rest of the story takes us!