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The Important Reason This Snack Company Didn't Wait for 'Perfect' EPIC bars had imperfect production in the beginning, but it paid off perfectly.

By Michelle Goodman

This story appears in the June 2016 issue of Start Up.

Stephen Smith
Barkeeps: Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest of EPIC protein bars.

Triathletes Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest from Austin, Texas, were tired of grazing on fruit-and-nut bars while training. So the couple decided to develop a low-carb, grass-fed animal-protein snack: the EPIC bar, which they debuted in 2013 at Natural Products Expo West, a leading natural food and products conference.

It turned out that their timing was impeccable; gluten-free and paleo diets had become all the rage. Based on their prototype alone, they snagged a national distribution deal with Whole Foods Market the first day of the conference. Now all the couple had to do was scramble to fill the retailer's order in 90 days.


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