Bend biz boom bounces from beer to bars

Not the beer kind: Mazama, Picky energy bars lured by C.O. lifestyle

POSTED: 7:07 PM PDT March 26, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

There are dozens of energy bars on grocery store shelves, but some new Bend entrepreneurs hope to create their own niche.

One company recently relocated its headquarters to Bend and has become popular among athletes.

With so many people biking, hiking, golfing and stand-up paddling, lots of people turn to energy bars to refuel.

Mazama Bar is just one company allowing the Central Oregon lifestyle to guide their venture.

Brittany Manwill and her husband, Derek, wanted to create a different kind of high performance energy bar.

"Derek and I would come home, and we would get all of our ingredients and use this nice little mixer," Manwill said Tuesday.

The Manwills operate a little differently. It's just the two of them, for now.

"I will come in here (the office), and I just really try to work on getting our name out there," Manwill said.  

It was a lifelong dream to move to Bend, and they got the opportunity just last year.

Not wanting to stop production, they use a company in Portland to help make their Mazama Bars while they settle in, and orders have been steadily increasing.

So what makes Mazama Bars stand out among the other energy bars out there? Manwill said it's the taste, the ingredients, and that it's specifically designed for the Central Oregon outdoor lifestyle.

"We are totally geared to people who want to live an outdoor lifestyle," Manwill said. "People who love to be outside, love to ski, backpack, mountain bike and really just want to do something awesome."

It's not just the Manwills setting up shop in Bend. Jesse Thomas and Lauren Fleshman moved to Bend from Springfield with their Picky Bars.

"Our unique position is the gluten- and dairy-free thing, combined with fueling around athlete's consumption," Thomas said.

Thomas and Fleshman are former Stanford athletes. When Thomas developed stomach problems because of gluten and dairy products, the two found their niche.

"We are really excited to be in Bend," Thomas said. "Its been a long time coming, and we really just support what the community has given us so far."

Right now, you can buy Mazama Bars at C.E. Lovejoy's Brookswood Market and Central Oregon Locavore, as well as online.

You can also order Picky Bars online or at FootZone in downtown Bend.