Nothin’ But Snack Bars

Most people don’t make a connection between poison ivy and muffins.

Then again, most people are not Jerri Graham.

She and her daughter had recently moved to Westport from Taiwan.  Jeri got a job at Greenwood Press — and a bad case of poison ivy.

Prednisone “made me crazy,” she recalls.  She started baking muffins — lots of them.  Soon her creations — including a delicious “Westport Morning Muffin” with flax seed, whole wheat flour, fruits and vegetables — were being sold at Doc’s.

Jeri envisioned a muffin delivery service that would “revolutionize breakfast around the world.”

Then she ate a supermarket granola bar.  It was nothing but oats, and a few “well-calculated” pieces of nuts and dried fruit.

That was Jerri’s aha! moment.

“I’d been duped,” she recalls.  “There was no flavor.”

Jerri Graham at Christie's Farmer's Market. (Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

Oats, she says, “are a blank canvas.  You can add anything to them” — nuts, seeds, fruits, spices.  There is no limit to creativity.

“If you pair almonds with cherries, that’s different than if you use cashews or pecans,” she says.  “My brain is constantly spinning with possibilities.”

She started making the kind of bars she wanted, for herself and her daughter.

She shared them.  Today she makes 62 varieties of snack bars.  And counting.

Jerri says the reaction to her bars has been “incredibly positive.  People are excited by all the different tastes and textures.  They’re tired of being tricked.”

Nothin’ But — as in “nothin’ but the best real snacks available” — are baked in a Post Road caterer’s kitchen.  They’re sold at Doc’s, Double L Market, Arogya, Cocoa Michelle, and 2 farmer’s markets (Thursdays at the Imperial Avenue lot, Sundays at Christie’s).

They’re also available at the Norwalk-Rowayton, Brickwalk and Greenfield Hill farmer’s markets.

Soon you can buy them at Yura in New York City, and Golden Pear in the Hamptons.

But not at Stop & Shop.

“Everyone’s trying to be the next Bear Naked,” she says, of the Fairfield County granola mega-succes story.

“I don’t want to follow that path.  We’d go to Dean & Deluca-type stores — if we ever did those at all.”

Jerri’s mission is to “change snacking.  America does not need to run on Dunkin’.

“Convenience stores sell snack bars, but they’re right next to cigarettes and Oreos.  That’s not the impact I want.  Almonds are better for you than butter cream.”

For now, Jerri’s goal is to “stay focused.”  The 1-woman operation is ready to hire people.

Meanwhile, she’s working on a blueberry-based “brain bar.”  A percentage of sales will go to Alzheimer’s research.

“If you don’t have a reason for what you’re doing, there’s no reason to do it,” she says.

And then she’s off to the kitchen, to make the donuts snack bars.

9 responses to “Nothin’ But Snack Bars

  1. The Lemon-Ginger Bars are my favorite !

  2. Thank you, Dan for the wonderful post.
    While this is just the beginning, my business partner (Steven Laitmon) and I know that Westport is the perfect place to set everything in motion. People in this town are supportive and giving in their time, advice, and friendship.
    Thank you again!

  3. Very cool product and very cool work ethic. I’ll look for these.

  4. The Dude Abides

    For decades I have been searching for a recipe to make a cookie that is good for you. Whole foods used to have the “Athlete’s Cookie” but one bite and you were running for the bathroom. Sounds like Jerri has a winner here. Keep on baking and I assure you, I will keep on eating!

  5. Sounds like a great concept. How many calories?

  6. I’m still confused…how are these any different from every other “organic”, “healthy” bar…they just taste better?

  7. I am sure they are better because Jerri cares about (their)/ our bodies she wants to teach her daughter healthy eatign habits. (WTG Jerri!)

  8. Richard Lawrence Stein

    I literally just had my first bite of your product and was blown away…. Very very tasty…. I also actually know both Kelly and Branden the founders and creators Of Bare Naked… They too started from a very humble beginning… Getting your product out there and keeping your product yours are very challenging… Keep up the great work… And best of luck on growth

  9. Lisa Bowman

    I miss you, girl! Congrats on continuing to grow Nothin’ But! They are the absolute best…and so are YOU!