"We're gonna make an energy bar," Gary Erickson recalls saying to his mother in 1990. "It's kinda like that great oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookie that you make, but we can't use butter, we can't use sugar and we can't use oil."
It took six months to perfect the recipe, but they did. The rest is history for the bar Gary named after his father, Clif, the building of a winning business and the creation of a dominant category: bars that taste good. In a recent episode of NPR host Guy Raz's new podcast, How I built this, Erickson tells the story from inspiration (choking down "the bitter pill" of hard, flavorless energy bars in the 1980s) through the early years of the company, the near sale to Quaker Oats and the present. Raz and Erickson discuss the edge of risk, passion, dedication, the entrepreneurial spirit and the power of business as a force for good.