“I believe in what this company stands for,” says Jayson Selander, partner in Salem’s LivBar business. “It’s not easy to take the path less traveled. The easy path is cheap and fast food, which isn’t food at all; it’s fake, toxic, and designed to leave you empty and coming back for more.”

From a humble, healthy, tasty snack served at an open house nearly four years ago, LivBar has grown into a sizable local business with a commercial kitchen, a new website and online store, a new broker – and it is in the process of obtaining distribution with United Natural Foods, the leading independent natural foods distributor in the country.

Customers at LifeSource and other local locations will also notice exciting new flavors, all of them 100% real food, organic and non-gmo, developed by owner and local nutritionist Jan Mellon Johansen to aid in her clients success.

“We were a movement before we are a nutrition bar company,” says Selander. The journey began when Jan and husband Gabe Johansen opened Liv Nutritious Fitness (now Liv Wellness) with the motto, “Eat Real Food & Exercise” in early 2012. The enterprise offered lifestyle training and fitness nutrition education, and at its open house on February 29, happened to serve an early version of the LivBar. It was an immediate hit with attendees for its excellent taste and texture and the knowledge that it was absolutely great for the consumer.

Next, “Gov Cup [The Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters] wanted to sell the bar and a small house kitchen was built,” says Selander. A few accounts were opened, including LifeSource, several Roth’s locations, Market of Choice in Corvallis, Harvest Fresh in McMinnville and others.

Selander joined the effort as a partner in 2013 and the company hasn’t looked back. He designs the packaging, creates the web page, delivers the product – everything a young entrepreneur with a dedicated vision expects to do. Now Grass Roots Marketing represents the company in the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, and California. A store locater has been installed at www.livbars.com and the company’s product systems became so sophisticated that it has become a copacker for Paleo Eats, formerly of Bend, and began producing Grok bar from Portland.

“We help new products enter the market by offering a smaller order minimums as well as guidance from our experience thus far,” Selander says.

It’s “nearly impossible” to have a clear understanding of how to eat nutritionally, Selander says, “without knowing what to stay away from.” For that reason, the bars are designed with attention to impeccable quality including only excellent ingredients.

“Delicious, nutritious, balanced and sustaining,” is how Selander describes the bars. “Bringing real, organic, non-gmo, healthy food to the market is our only objective.”