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!
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
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 ]
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