Established: April 2013
Description: All Day Breakfast Bars.
Founders: Olly Ashton
Head Office: London, UK
Locations: Hoxton, London
Industry: Food & Drink, Health and Wellness
Stockists: 300 UK stores including Whole Foods, As Nature Intended, Sourced Market, Ten Health & Fitness.
Gluten, additive, and dairy free energy bars packed with protein and fibre provided by fruit, nuts, and seeds. 100% natural, organic, and vegan.
The beauty of Ollybars is that they are made from delicious and wholesome ingredients that can be found in any kitchen. In other words, a transparent and honest product that is bursting with flavour and full of texture, all while being composed of at least ten to fifteen whole foods. In an effort to create a truly "homemade" experience, Ollybars emphasise optimal nutrition by combining vital proteins, carbs, fats, and fibre found in raw ingredients like apples, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, raspberries, apricots, raisins, dates, peanuts, and cocoa butter.
Ollybars intend to get you from one meal to the next without suffering any cravings or uncomfortable sugar crashes. They do what they say on the packet, leaving you feeling satisfied by a highly nutritional combination of the finest ingredients. As a result, they are the perfect companion for an active lifestyle and can give you that boost you need for an early start, a midday munch, or an intense session at the gym. In other words, a great way to refuel "naturolly".
"I started Ollybars at home. I had two flat mates who put up with my dehydrator running all night and acted as willing guinea pigs. I spent six months experimenting, developing recipes, testing shelf life and gathering information. I then started knocking on doors, cafes, and gyms to get Ollybars to the till. To be successful, you have to be an inventor as well a salesperson, or nothing gets off of the drawing board and reaches the market. After a year of successes and failures, I managed to obtain my very own kitchen. I started to upscale and went back to school. I had to climb a lot of learning curves in manufacturing. Four years on and I have three staff, we just bought our first packaging machine, and are now exporting to Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Dubai and deliver to 300 stores in London and the UK.
My company's ethos can be described as pioneering with integrity. My personal ethos is to change the way food is made by improving upon products to increase sustainability. No additives, preservatives, powders, isolates, emulsifiers, or flavourings. Just real food sweetened with real fruit and vegan ingredients. You get what you see and it tastes great.
From the start, I wanted to make products packaged in bio-compostable sleeves - this is the company’s next big challenge before I release any new products. I want to trigger a paradigm shift within the food industry that improves our progressively worrisome landfill challenges. To change the world, one requires the strength to take a leap of faith and get one's hands dirty, all while understanding the practical issues that face the food industry and overall economy. In the end, it all comes down to cost.
Why is there so much tasteless food on the market? Why do we insist on so much unnecessary packaging? Why are we consuming so many chemicals? As a consumer myself, I felt so enraged by these obstacles that I looked into doing something about them. I love cooking. It’s my passion. You can really channel your love into food and truly make people happy.
Eating for convenience does not mean you have to compromise on flavour. I wasn’t a scientist with cupboard full of powders and additives to play with; I just looked to what was in front of me. Fortunately, the consumer is now waking up and starting to read the ingredients list. This change in sentiment is what excites me and drives me to be part of a movement demanding such a necessary change."
Olly Ashton - CEO & Co-Founder
It all started with an idea to make the best tasting energy bars in London. From his home kitchen, Olly started to innovate with natural raw ingredients packed with fibre and protein. These included gluten free oats, whole nuts, and chia seeds, all bound together with fruit dehydrated at low temperatures to retain their nutritional value and slow release of energy (all at 30% less GI!). In other words, a gluten and dairy free superfood snack, bursting with flavour. He now owns a bakery in Hoxton, London, where he and a small team supply Ollybars across the UK, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland.
Olly started his career in 1999 as a film director, then worked as a TV producer and developed new technology for broadcasting, online casinos, and digital game shows. After the financial crash in 2009, he was made redundant and decided to start his own business. Cooking, creativity, art and the desire to rock the boat had always been his passions. After various failures, he turned to an idea that was borne form a personal desire for a staple food that could nutritionally sustain people over long periods of walking, running, endurance and exercise. He aimed to turn people away from the average-tasting gloop that has become ubiquitous in the sport and convenience snack market. These bars needed to be natural, healthy, and, most importantly, taste amazing.