Ivan Pelly attributes part of the motivation for his formulating Ivan.Bar to his experience going to primary school in England. “It was a long day with a train trip to school and back. The school lunches were inedible, so I remember always being hungry. In fact the boys would sneak into the school kitchen, hoping to find something better to eat.”
That memory and being somewhat hypoglycemic mean Ivan snacks a lot, and he found that it resulted in his blood sugar fluctuating wildly. “The bars in stores were too sugary, too small, and tasted weird. I’m not a cook or a baker, but out of necessity I decided to make my own.”
“Since I’m an engineer, of course I figured I can do this, how hard can it be?” Ivan says with a laugh. “It took about a year to get the recipe I wanted. I had three criteria: the bars had to taste great, they had to be good for you, and they had to satisfy you, so you weren’t hungry after you ate one.”
Ivan had a built-in test market. His kids are baseball players, so he made batches for them and the other kids on their teams. “The kids loved the taste and the parents appreciated the quality, so the parents started asking me where they could buy them or if I would make a batch for them. After doing all the research for making a commercial product, we launched in summer 2018.”
“What I want to do is to make something great. My kids like to quote comedian Chris D’Elia who says, ‘If you’re going to invent something, make it work.’ That’s how I feel about the bar. If I’m going to this much trouble, it’s got to be very good.”
The bar is made with whole ingredients, the real thing, nothing imitation trying to look like something else. Because the texture is not homogenous, you can see the individual seeds and nuts.
The bar hits the spot for active people, who want nutrition and calories. In the “Around the World” section of their website, the adventurous people pictured appreciate that the bar is tasty portable nutrition.
Ivan.Bar is the first product for Santa Barbara Specialty Products. A second bar will be introduced in early 2020, and a third is in the works. Ivan also wants to develop a new vegie burger, one that isn’t trying to simulate beef, but is good on its own merits.
“My goal is to take my success and make it other people’s success as well. I’m investigating the best ways to direct our energy to do the most good in the world.”