Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 12, 2012.

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We hand-craft gourmet, grain free protein bars with the best ingredients (using nothing artificial); Now we need to cut them uniformly!

Please note:  Our rewards that include MariGold Bars are for US only. Convenient pickup locations will be available for the Houston and Conroe areas.. For those who choose, all MariGold Bars rewards are shipped 2 day USPS. 

Hi, we're Mari Ann & Steve Lisenbe and together, we make MariGold Bars. We're thankful to all our friends whose encouragement, taste-testing and support have helped us get this far, and we're extremely excited to be sharing this project with all of you here on Kickstarter!

MariGold Bars are gourmet tasting...but extremely healthy... gluten free protein bars that we make and deliver fresh, without artificial ingredients, preservatives, excess sugar or chemicals.  

With your support, we'll be able to get the equipment we need to cut our bars into uniform sizes so they meet the FDA's requirement (4% variation).

Thanks for checking out our project.  Now,with your help, we'll be able to get these awesome tasting gluten free bars to everyone who's given up on finding a low sugar, high protein, all natural bar!

-Mari Ann & Steve

Our bars are called "MariGold"-  but it really has nothing to do with the flower. It's more about producing the "gold standard" of protein bars… and my name is Mari - so we named them MariGold Bars. (get it? :-)

For the past several years, I have been helping people get healthy through my online program and teaching classes about nutrition.

One thing that people kept asking me was to recommend a protein bar - something they could take with them as a healthy, high-protein snack.

I searched all the bars on the market (and there are TONS of them), but could not find one to meet ALL my requirements:

  • Real ingredients (as in all natural, no franken-foods or chemicals) 
  • High quality high protein (not junk-quality protein!)
  • Low sugar, but no artificial sugars or sugar alcohols
  • Grain Free (true gluten free). Many bars claim to be gluten free, but are actually only wheat gluten free... they contain other forms of gluten!

So, I decided to try my hand at making protein bars! 

The first bar I made was what's now known as our Chocolate Praline bar. If you've ever had one of those hand-wrapped caramels they sell in quaint little Mexican food restaurants... you know the taste! Except that I also added in a bit of organic dark chocolate.

I let my friends try them out. They loved them, and asked for more.  

So, I tried another bar. This one was an all vanilla bar stuffed with raw coconut, golden flaxseeds and raw cashews. It was a hit, too! 

These Two Bars Started it All!
These Two Bars Started it All!

Friends told me that if I'd make the bars, they'd buy them. So, I did...and they did! I was so overwhelmed (an unprepared!) for the number of orders that came in that Steve had to come to my rescue and offered to help make the bars.  

We also learned there's a lot of regulations involved in setting up a food business! However, we made our way through the bureaucratic maze.  We secured the proper permits, got licensed and even decided to build-out a small manufacturing space so that we could assure there was no cross-contamination from gluten. (This would not have been possible when renting a commercial kitchen.) 

Over the next 9 months, friends helped us perfect our current offering of 7 flavors. And one thing I learned is that people really, REALLY love chocolate!  As a result, 6 of our 7 bars now contain chocolate (more about that in a minute). 

Steve & I are both VERY picky about what goes into these bars.

We start with the absolute best whey available. 

  • Cold processed so it protects the delicate amino-acid chains. (Most protein bars that use whey use high-heat processed whey that has damaged protein. Others use Soy, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Glycerin, or other less desirable forms of protein.)
  • Comes from grass-fed cows 
  • non GMO
  • Isolate, so that it's LACTOSE FREE

I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you that we have lots of repeat customers buying our bars who are lactose intolerant.  We do have to list milk as an allergen on our bars simply because the dark chocolate we use is produced in a facility that also processes milk chocolate, so there is an extremely remote chance of our bars containing a slight amount of milk cross contamination.  (Part of the bureaucratic maze mentioned earlier :-) 

Using this extremely high quality whey IS more expensive than using the cheap alternatives, but the health benefits are worth the additional cost. We don't put junk in our bodies, and hope you don't, either!

Then we add in other premium ingredients...

Organic coconut oil to protect your brain health. 

Truly raw, organic agave. All agave is NOT the same. Some of it is high-heat processed and worse for you than high-fructose corn syrup!  The agave we use is never heated above 118 degrees. And, it's certified to have a glycemic index of 30 (a very good thing).

For our bars that contain chocolate, we use a very high quality, USDA certified organic 85% dark chocolate.   We use enough to add yummy taste, but not enough to cause a blow to your blood sugar.  

Our bars all have 5 grams or less of sugar, and 20+ grams of protein which is quite remarkable - especially when compared to other bars.

No additives. No preservatives. No sugar alcohols. No fake anything! and COMPLETELY GLUTEN FREE!

Almond Mocha Crunch - Like a crunchy cappuccino in a bar!  Almonds and raw cacao nibs in a vanilla/coffee bar with swirled, dark chocolate- organic coffee & chocolate (of course!)  Protein: 22.6 g; Fat: 15 g; Carbs: 10 g  (Fiber 5 g, Sugar 5 g); Calories: 262 

Chocolate Praline - Do you like those little chewy pralines found in Mexican food restaurants?  That's the taste these have been compared with! Vanilla bar loaded with walnuts and swirled with dark organic chocolate  Protein: 21.7 g; Fat: 17 g; Carbs: 9 g  (Fiber 3.5 g, Sugar 4.75 g); Calories: 273

IQ - Vanilla bar packed with raw cashews, coconut and golden flax seeds. YUM!  Protein: 22.5 g; Fat: 15 g; Carbs: 13 g  (Fiber 5 g, Sugar 4 g); Calories: 263

Healthy Addiction - Cashews and raw cacao nibs in a chocolate/coffee bar with swirled with even more dark chocolate.  It lives up to its name :-)  Protein: 22.7 g; Fat: 15 g; Carbs: 13 g  (Fiber 6 g, Sugar 5 g); Calories: 274

Our Healthy Addiction bar has been affectionately called "Espresso in a Bar".  I have to admit, this is my personal fav!
Our Healthy Addiction bar has been affectionately called "Espresso in a Bar". I have to admit, this is my personal fav!

Chocolate Coconut Delight Chocolate bar jammed full of lots and lots of coconut and swirled, dark chocolate. For times when you don't feel like a nut :-) Protein: 20.5 g; Fat: 17 g; Carbs: 11 g  (Fiber 5 g, Sugar 5 g); Calories: 280

Chocolate Squared Chocolate bar loaded with walnuts and swirled with dark organic chocolate. This is a chocolate lovers dream!  Protein: 21.7 g; Fat: 17 g; Carbs: 9 g  (Fiber 3.5 g, Sugar 4.75 g); Calories: 273

Pure Joy Vanilla bar jammed full of lots and lots of coconut and swirled with dark organic chocolate. Because of the vanilla base, this bar has a "milk chocolate-y" taste, similar to an Almond Joy  Protein: 20.5 g; Fat: 17 g; Carbs: 11 g  (Fiber 5 g, Sugar 5 g); Calories: 280

Your support will help us raise the money we need to purchase some equipment to produce bars that are uniform in size. Right now, it's a painfully SLOW process! 

  • #1 Need:  Cutting and indexing equipment.  Hitting our goal will enable us to purchase this. 
  • #2 Need:  Larger mixer.  We can only make 16 bars at a time with our current mixer. Our Stretch Goal would help us get a bigger mixer so we could make 48 bars per batch.
  • #3 Need:  Wrapping equipment! There's a table-top wrapping machine we have our eyes on. This machine would enable us to put a tighter seal on the bars, which helps seal in the freshness.

For helping us get what we need, we've set up some cool rewards for you!  Sorry, but rewards that include MariGold Bars are for U.S. only.  We'll set up convenient pick-up locations in the Houston/Conroe area for those of you who are local and want to save on shipping charges.  If you are not local, or want your reward shipped, please add in the shipping charges shown over in the rewards section.  Bars are shipped USPS 2 day (see the Rewards section over on the side for info on shipping charges).

  • $5:   MariGold "Treat Yourself Well" stickers
  • $25:   7 MariGold Bars (1 each flavor)
  • $35:  12 MariGold Bars (1 pkg of all same flavor)  
  • $45:   Limited Edition Special Run, USA made T created especially for our Kickstarter project.
  • $60:  14 MariGold Bars (2 each flavor, or you choose the flavors) + a MariGold Koozie Day Pouch.
  • $85:  "Christmas* in August". Includes 12 MariGold Bars (your choice of flavors) packaged in a beautifully designed Gift Box + 2 Hand-painted cups + 2 MariGold Bars Koozie Day Pouches + Note Card indicating this gift helped kickstart a Small Biz. (Can be shipped direct to your friend right in time for Christmas* (or any December holiday you choose!!  Make it easy on yourself and get your shopping done now.
  • $100:   This is the same as the $60 reward, but we add in one of the Limited Edition T's. 
  • $250:  84 MariGold Bars + Limited Edition T +  koozie + stickers

* This can be for whichever December holiday you celebrate. Just let us know the date, and we'll take care of the rest.

REMEMBER: Rewards that include MariGold Bars are for U.S. only.

[We'll post  the sticker and T-Shirt designs as Updates ]

FAQ

  • YES! Actually, we recommend you refrigerate or freeze upon receipt for lasting freshness since MariGold Bars do not contain preservatives and are low in sugar. Simply take a bar out of the fridge/freezer and throw it in your purse/bag for the day.

    According to our testing lab, they can be frozen "indefinitely".... although I would personally recommend 6-8 months.

    Last updated:
  • The easiest way to pay for shipping to to ADD it to your pledge.

    Once you select a pledge amount, you are taken to a new screen that shows your pledge. Simply change the amount of your pledge to include the shipping. For example, if you pledge $60, change that number to $72.50 ( $60 + 12.50).

    If you forget to do this, you can go back in and "Manage" your pledge. Or, at the end of the project, we can send you a separate invoice and you can pay the shipping before we ship out your reward.

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  • When you join, and then pledge on this project (or any project), you will only receive email that directly relates to the project you pledged.

    For example, when you pledge, you will receive and email from Kickstarter notifying you that your pledge was accepted and telling you the date it will fund. Then, a couple days before the project ends, you'll receive an email letting you know the project is close to ending.

    You'll also receive updates from the project you pledge to. For our project, we'll be sending out about 5 updates over the month our project is running.

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  • Yes! Our company name is "Stellarmud". This is a reference to God creating us from the dust of the earth. Stellar (God) + mud (dust of the earth) = Stellarmud. A little different, but for those of you who know Steve & me... so are we!

    Last updated:
  • I had this happen to me when I tried to pledge to someone else's project!

    If you're using a mac, try using Safari. If on a PC, try it with Internet Explorer.

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  • Our bars do not contain any soy in any form. They also don't contain any preservatives, chemicals or artificial anything!

    INGREDIENTS:
    All our bars contain:
    cold-processed whey from grass fed cows,
    organic, cold processed coconut oil,
    organic raw agave (certified low glycemic).

    The the various flavors contain from these additional ingredients:
    Raw cashews, raw walnuts, raw coconut, blanched almonds raw cacao and/or organic 85% dark chocolate (the chocolate contains organic cocoa, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla extract and less than 1 gm of organic pure cane sugar).

    Plus, we throw in an extra big scoop of LOVE!

    Eating a MariGold Bar is something you can feel good about.

    Last updated:
179
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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Our sincere thanks for your help getting our tasty, healthy protein bars to market + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars sticker.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    82 backers

    7 MariGold Bars (1 each flavor) + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars sticker. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $5.50 for shipping, U.S. only)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    28 backers

    12 MariGold Bars (one 12-pk box, all one flavor) + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars sticker. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $7.95 for shipping, U.S. only.)

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  • Pledge $45 or more
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    4 backers

    Limited Edition Special Run MariGold T-Shirt. This is not some cheap sweat shop T. It's a USA-made T-shirt screen printed with a custom design created especially for our project! Woo hoo! + a hand-written thank you note + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars sticker. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $3.50 for shipping.)

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  • Pledge $60 or more
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    21 backers

    14 MariGold Bars (2 each flavor, or you choose the flavors) + a MariGold Koozie Day Pouch. (Our bars taste great cold, so slip one in here and stay cool!). + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars sticker. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $12.50 for shipping, U.S. only)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $85 or more
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    4 backers Limited (196 left of 200)

    "Christmas* in August" MariGold Bars Gift pack. Includes 12 MariGold Bars (your choice of flavors) packaged in a beautifully designed Gift Box + 2 Hand Painted cups + 2 MariGold Bars Day Pouches + Note Card indicating this gift helped kickstart a small biz. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $18.00 for shipping , U.S. only. Can be shipped directly to your friend right in time for Christmas* or other December holiday! Make it easy on yourself and get your shopping done now.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    19 backers

    14 MariGold Bars (2 each flavor, or your choice of flavors!) + our Limited Edition Special Run T-Shirt. This is not some cheap sweat shop T. It's a USA-made T-shirt screen printed with a custom design created especially for our project! + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars stickers.+ a hand-written thank you note. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $12.50 for shipping, U.S. only)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
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    6 backers

    For retailers or true MariGold Bars afficionados, get 1 case (one 12-pk box of each of our 7 flavors). OR choose 7 12-pk boxes of your favorite flavors). That's 84 yummy, hand-crafted MariGold bars! + our Limited Edition Special Run T-Shirt (see above for description) + "Treat Yourself Well" MariGold Bars stickers + a hand-written thank you note. (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $18.00 for shipping, U.S. only)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $275 or more
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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Some of you asked for a big, "bars only" reward, so here it is! 10 12-pk boxes of bars. That's 120 yummy, hand-crafted MariGold bars and you pick the flavors! (Not local? Want it shipped? Add $18.00 for shipping, U.S. only)

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)