In 2008, Jerri Graham was not happy with snack bars. The ones on the market lacked the taste, texture and ingredients she wanted to eat — or feed her family.
So the Westport woman created her own. Her “Nothin’ But” bars were a hit, at local cafes, farmers’ markets and gyms. Yet as a solo entrepreneur, she could not take advantage of their surging popularity.
Around that time, Steve Laitmon tried a bar at Doc’s — the old Saugatuck coffee shop. Impressed he stepped into the parking lot, found Graham’s number and called her.
An attorney who also owns the Calendar Group — a Westport-based staffing firm for high net worth individuals and families — Laitmon asked where Nothin’ But was sold besides Doc’s. She was in the farmers’ market, a couple of gyms and cafes, and Arogya.
Laitmon went door-to-door — literally — expanding the market. His 1st target: the Hamptons. He was successful — and so were Graham’s bars.
A few years later, Nothin’ But is now sold in a couple of thousand outlets. Costco and Whole Foods carry them, in 3 regions each. Hudson News sells them nationally. In March, they’ll be at 7/Eleven.
Last year, the company grew by 300%. Sales are in the low 7 figures.
Laitmon did it by old-fashioned pavement pounding. He also brought in a vice president of sales, a sales assistant and an operations guy. That’s it, though. Nothin’ But is nothin’ but them.
Success comes from the product itself, Laitmon says. “We’re taste-driven, with clean ingredients. Nothing artificial. No garbage.”
Right now there are 4 granola bar flavors, and 4 types of cookies. The Nothin’ But brand has plenty of potential, Laitmon notes. But they’re solidifying their current offerings, before expanding.
Speaking of expansion: Nothin’ But’s offices just moved from Westport to Stratford. The company needed a loading dock — and that’s hard to find here.
Doc’s — where Laitmon made that 1st phone call to Graham — is no longer around. But Nothin’ But bars are.
Thanks to that Westport connection, they’re more popular than ever. And all over the country.