Why Bars with Chris Forte feature #32 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature # 32: Why Bars presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Why Bars
For this edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Chris Forte, Co-Founder, of Why Bars. Why Bars start with simple and wholesome ingredients that satisfy the body, the mind, and the spirit. They combine them to create a bar that’s packed with nutrition and full of flavor — truly the best-tasting and most fulfilling energy bar on Earth! The bars are ideal for busy families who are looking for healthier snacks to support active lifestyles.
Why Not offer a healthy snack and provide grab-and-go options at your office, studio, and retail marketplace? Now you can offer your customers portable, quick and easy snacks that actually taste amazing. Why Bars are naturally soy-free, dairy-free, preservative-free, and made with raw, organic ingredients. These bars are the perfect snack.
Satisfying your Hunger
Why Bars started simply with fate you could call it. One of the Co-Founders, Chris Forte teaches yoga. Across from his studio is a juice bar that he was going to after a session one day when he ran into Jay Kinney who was dropping off a batch of bars. Chris began asking questions to Jay and before you knew it a friendship and partnership was born. This occurred in 2017. Now why was Chris so intrigued by this product? Well, we have to go back to understand fully.
As Chris told us, "I'm a 52-year-old who exercises, teaches and practices yoga, and has eaten some form of bars for 30 years. Every 5-7 years a new innovation comes out based on what consumers are chasing. But back in 2014, I gave up bars altogether. They weren't holding my appetite, I didn't think they tasted good." When Chris bumped into Jay, his curiosity allowed him to give bars another chance.
With the first taste, he knew Jay had concocted something different. Proof you ask? Before they started selling Why Bars, the first customers were the clubhouses of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. Professional athletes who saw the benefit to this snack bar.
Fast forward to today they are represented by 31 Collegiate and Professional athletes. Also partnerships with Texas Legends, Oakland University, Royal Oak Leprechauns, Detroit Mercy, and the Detroit Marathon.
Partner with KLS
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And with that, the company wasn't focused on protein, carbs, keto, or any other specific niche. Their niche is simple, curb hunger. As Chris told us, "Someone is hungry, this gets them from A-B. We are a simple company, simple ingredients, simple delivery, but we don't skimp on taste or quality." The company understood what they wanted to create, a simple bar that is healthy, easily accessible, and attainable for anyone.
There are so many bars in the space that all aim to do a variety of different things for the consumer. The core of the product is chia seeds. Chris actually just got the product on a shelf using that as the selling point. "Not a lot of products are based around chia seeds, which are a superfood and antioxidant. And the ones that are don't always do a good job of telling you the benefits."
The company now brands the bar as "3 hours of fuel", but remarkably that wasn't in their plan. As Chris told us that came from the consumers itself. "We were getting feedback and kept hearing the time frame of 3 years that the hunger was curbed. We jumped on that opportunity. Everyone is looking for a quick reason, we can provide that to them. This simple snack bar taste good and you won't have to think about food for the next 3 hours."
In our chat with Chris he said it can be used for a variety of reasons, health-conscious people may use pre/post workout, an in-between snack from breakfast to lunch, any one on the go it is a must, families with kids, ANYONE who is hungry and needs to be held over for 3 hours.
The company is aiming to double its sales in 2023 from 2022 and continue that for the following two years. They have 3 year timeframes of goals they are hoping to achieve. Recently they signed on with Juicepress for their east coast stores. A big achievement for Why Bars that will add to the locations they are already found on including Amazon and their website.
We asked Chris what the challenges have been for the company, he alluded to being grassrooted, but also the vision they had for the company initially. "Our initial focus was to get into Lifetime Fitness in 2018. We worked so hard for this one account. Finally we got it closed and the PO was fulfilled, next month Covid hits. Shut down and we lost the business opportunity. We were less than 2 years into our company and felt like we had no direction, but we didn't lose sight of our product and opportunity. We simply pivoted and adjusted our market and reach." The ability to take a negative situation and potentially crippling one at that and turn it into a moment of learning is part of what makes this company unique.
Yes they have a simple bar with a very specific goal, but it is also the culture of the company that separates them from competitors. And as Chris told us over and over again it is the little things. "Knowing we not only survived that but overcame it and continued to grow is our perseverance. I couldn't be prouder and happier to be a part of this company."
Why Bars is committed to moving at their pace, for their purpose, to fulfill their passion. Surprisingly Chris said his favorite aspect is working in the kitchen, "most people think of kitchens as chaotic and highly stressful environments, but ours is the opposite. We created a peaceful place where the mind can unwind and relax. Gather yourself because our mantra is 'one bar at a time'."
As Chris echoed, he feels that he is a messenger of how food is very important in life. This company, specifically this bar is a platform to spread that message at a larger scale. The bar nourishes the body. And with that belief, it is why the company didn't stress when Covid hit or when they lost the Lifetime Fitness PO, it is because they believe in their product and what it provides. "We are a spiritual company, that the culture is developing everyone's growth. Each person is growing that includes mind, body, and spirit. Our bars will get into the right hands of people looking to better themselves."
That belief is their foundation and it is evident in the little things. A few months back Chris posted on his LinkedIn where he was at the gym and a stranger cracked open a Why Bar. Chris approached him and asked to take a picture.
The little things.
Chris told us about his favorite moment, which over Zoom, he still got emotional. "I have a handwritten letter from a customer of ours in Ohio. It is a family and the mother of 3 children took time out of her day to say how valuable our bars have been for their family. She said it has changed their life and what they are doing. The impact that had on me and us as a company was profound.
Yup, the little things...
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
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KLS wants to thank Chris for his time and for inviting us to share the story of Why Bars for today's "Together Talks". You can visit their website here to purchase their different products if you aren't in the northeast region! The company also has a newsletter on its website you can sign up for. Also stay informed with Why Bars from their social channels:
The company has been featured in VegOut as one of the 12 Best Vegan Bars!
They also are offering a 15% coupon code off Amazon using "15WHYBAR"!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Best Customer Service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, Drayage
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST Customer Service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
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We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.