All About Beautiful Bars: FAQ Especially for Vendors
Our goal is to make the world’s greatest, authentic, hand-made granola bars. We work in small batches. We invest in quality ingredients over fancy packaging. We don’t shape the bars into rectangles to make them seem larger. The ingredients are all natural—no high-tech fillers to affect texture, shelf-life, or taste. We’ve prioritized satisfaction over minimizing calories, so we use lots of nuts and seeds to boost energy and to provide long-lasting fullness. We pre-toast each ingredient separately to maximize its distinct flavor. While there are lots of ingredients, we hope you can close your eyes and taste each one.
What’s Your Social Mission? As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit, our charitable mission is to provide first jobs and on-the-job training for newly arrived refugees. Every aspect of our granola production (making, packaging, distributing, selling) onramps vulnerable people into our local job market, just as the bars invite our entire community to appreciate the presence and contributions of refugees. 100% of profits return to our training programs. Our goal is for product sales to eventually finance 80% of our total expenses.
Are you based in RI? Yes. We’re proud to be a Providence-area based company. We currently produce our granola at Amos House, a local social service agency. Our employees live in Providence and we got our start in local RI farmers’ markets. When possible, we source ingredients from local producers and distributors.
What’s with the bear on a bicycle? Beautiful Bears/Bars. Yes, it’s a silly pun. But the image also reminds us of the our challenges as a non-profit/granola company/training program. It’s a bit of a tightrope, but we’re figuring it out.
Are the bars gluten free? Yes. Gluten-free, non-GMO. They are packaged with UPC and nutrition facts for individual sale. Because the kitchen we use is NOT gluten-free, the bars may not be suitable for consumers with a severe gluten intolerance or allergies.
Are you making other flavors? We are starting to make limited quantities of special flavor bars corresponding to our granola of the month offerings. Varieties are packaged in clear high-barrier cellophane with an ingredient list, but without UPC, nutrition facts, or information about Beautiful Day.
Are the other flavors gluten free? Please assume NO. While we use the same gluten-free base ingredients, we are not yet able to source the special or added ingredients as carefully in our flavored variety bars. If you re-sell our variety bars, please clarify they may not be gluten free.
How are hand-made granola bars different from machine-made ones? We fill custom designed molds by hand, so the bars are subject to minor variations in weight, density, and texture. Most bars are slightly heavier than the published weight, occasionally one is lighter. Granola is very sensitive to humidity in the kitchen and minor fluctuations in oven temperature can alter the texture. While we think this should be part of their charm, variations can surprise customers used to factory-made, machine wrapped bars. Variations, particularly in texture, are greatest in our limited edition special flavors. If you or a customer is ever unhappy with a bar or batch, just let us know and we will exchange it. The freshest bars will be slightly crispy. Over time moisture in the fruit migrates to the grains and bars become chewier. A bar kept in the fridge will taste and chew better if you slip it into a pocket to warm it up.
What about shelf life and storage? Individual bars are not yet marked with a “best by” date. We currently write or stamp a conservative “Best by” date on the bottom of wholesale boxes: around 4 months during winter, around 3 months in summer. Bars will stay fresh for months in the fridge or freezer. They can be frozen and thawed multiple times without altering taste or quality. We avoid selling bars wholesale if their “best by” date is less than 3 weeks away.
Is there anything different about selling an item made by a non-profit? Every vendor selling our bars essentially becomes a partner in our mission. For different types of businesses this can take different forms:
Retail Partners resell our bars just like any other product. Some retailers choose to donate by lowering their typical mark-up price or by placing bars strategically to maximize sales. A price point between $2 and $3 seems to be working fine. Please see our price sheet for wholesale prices.
Proxy Partners sell bars in our place and collect the money for us without first buying the bars at wholesale. This works well as a special event or for smaller service oriented offices (like a physical therapy office or salon) with clients who appreciate a snack and a chance to support us. Some faith groups set up a sales table following services. A reliable way to collect money is important, though in certain situations, an honor-system payment /donation box is appropriate. We can provide a simple letter of agreement to help clarify expectations and avoid misunderstandings. We provide free delivery either in person or by mail.
Sponsors: We are seeking several larger corporations who could, in lieu of financial donations, invest in our mission by buying a certain number of bars every month at retail prices. A donation made by buying a larger number of bars would be an especially helpful investment in growing our training program and our production capacity while improving our bottom line.
How do you handle deliveries and shipping? We offer free delivery to vendors making retail sales in the Providence area (10 miles) who order at least $100 (or 3 cases of 24) at a time. For smaller orders we’ll make the first 3 deliveries for free, and after that $5 per delivery to cover gas and time for one of our employees. For customers outside Providence, we use USPS Priority Mail. Two cases (48 bars) can be shipped to CT or MA for $6.95. Let us know your location and we can tell you what it will cost us to ship, and then go from there.
How do you handle payment? Most stores pay us by check. When possible, we’re asking for a two-week turnaround on payment. We can also take credit cards (using our Square account) over the phone.
Can you send a representative so that customers can sample the bars? Feel free to ask. We're growing a volunteer marketing team and someone from our team will get back to you to answer questions and set up a time for someone to visit you with samples. This can take some time to organize, but is worth the effort.