Interview with Veronica Bosgraaf, Pure Bar Creator

"Veronica was born in the heart of the Midwest, Detroit Michigan. Growing into a young woman, Veronica struggled with body image and what choices to make when it came to eating and exercising to stay healthy, as most young women do. At the time, it seemed like no one had a good answer to healthy snacking and eating.
 In college, Veronica majored in Biology and Psychology, and went on to obtain her Masters in Counseling Psychology. Her education fed a passion in her for understanding the mind and body, as it pertains to food and exercise choices.
 Veronica was married right out of college and worked as a high school biology teacher and guidance counselor for six years. She saw first-hand how nutrition habits affected students and young adults. Some were more susceptible than others, but as a counselor she started seeing a frequent amount of research on the negative effects of refined sugars, artificial ingredients, and processed food on kids’ behaviors. She was also intrigued by the research that included Omega 3 fat deficiencies in kids, and the link to common childhood problems, such as ADHD.
 After becoming a mom, Veronica became even more passionate regarding healthy food choices for her children. She began researching more about organic food and learning about the advantages of whole, raw food versus processed food. At the age of six, her daughter, Anna, declared herself a vegetarian, refusing to eat “any animal that was once alive.” This prompted Veronica and her daughter to research the vegetarian lifestyle and they learned how safe it truly
was for adults and children. They soon realized that it was not only safe, but also a better, healthier, more economical choice. They began to eat vegetarian, more organic and raw foods based on everything they learned over the years.
 The Pure Bar concept came out of Veronica’s frustration with the lack of healthy packaged, convenient foods in the markets, and foods that were organic and raw, but still tasty and convenient to throw in lunches or snack bags. She started Pure by creating bars in her kitchen with the food processor. She made chocolate brownies with dates, almonds, walnuts (for Omega 3s), agave nectar and brown rice protein. She then began to make other renditions and, before long, there was a family of variety (Chocolate Chip Trail Mix, Apple Cinnamon, Wild Blueberry and Cranberry Orange). Once she began bringing the bars to school and family functions, people were impressed with how great they tasted and completely shocked when were told how healthy they were.
 A seed of ambition started to grow in Veronica - a product like Pure Bar should be available to everyone. After a year of searching for a manufacturer, working on perfecting the recipe and creating a shelf-stable product, Veronica finally found a small business out west that was willing to work with her to manufacture and distribute Pure Bar.
 Pure Bar was, and continues to be, very well received. People crave a convenient snack that is organic, gluten free and all-around packed with great nutrients. It has been an amazing journey for Veronica to watch an idea that started with her six-year-old daughter and a food processor evolve nationally into stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Meijer. She will be forever grateful for her daughter’s inspiration that led to the creation of Pure Bar."

Sarah Velasco: What does an average day look like for you?
Veronica Bosgraaf: I get up at 6:30 and make breakfast and lunches for my kids. I bring them to school at 8. I work from home from 8:15 until around 6 with an hour to get the kids and “debrief” with them after school from 3-4. While working I manage all of our social media, am part of the ongoing research and development of new products, have marketing and PR meetings and do a lot of writing and recipe creation.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about Pure? How did the brand get started?
Veronica Bosgraaf: When my daughter was six, we went to a petting zoo.
At the dinner table, she made the connection between the chicken on her plate and the animals that she had held. It was then that she made the decision to become a vegetarian.
There clearly was a lack of healthy vegetarian snacks in grocery stores, so we decided to create one of our own. Our requirements were stiff. We would only use real ingredients, organic fruits and healthy nuts untouched by harmful herbicides and pesticides. No refined sugars, no chemicals, no genetically-modified stuff. We wanted ingredients rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3 fats. Most importantly, it had to taste amazing. After all, she was six. Following hundreds of hours in the kitchen and dozens of dinner-table taste-tests, we perfected our recipes. What I fed my daughter as a tasty, healthy snack had suddenly taken on a life of its own.

Sarah Velasco: What should readers know about your products? Can you tell us about the health benefits?
Veronica Bosgraaf: I originally made these snacks for my family, so I used the highest quality whole unprocessed organic ingredients I could find. Pure products are Certified Organic, Non-GMO verified, Gluten-free, Vegan,and Kosher. They contain complete vegan protein, fiber and antioxidants from whole, real foods.

Sarah Velasco: What types of products do you have and where can readers find them?
Veronica Bosgraaf: www.thepurebar.com, major online retailers like Amazon.com, Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Meijer, Check out our store locator online, or request them at your favorite store.

Sarah Velasco: How are pure bars different from other snack bars? 
Veronica Bosgraaf: Pure Bars are Certified Organic, Non-GMO verified, Gluten-free, Vegan, and Kosher. They contain complete vegan protein, fiber and antioxidants from whole, real foods, and yet are amazingly delicious and filling. I have never found a bar that is as clean as Pure is and as delicious.

Sarah Velasco: What challenges are there when creating vegan bars? 
Veronica Bosgraaf: Vegan is not as challenging as Organic. We pay much higher prices for our high quality organic ingredients so it can be a challenge to make money sometimes. It can also be challenging finding organic ingredients because they are not as readily supplied as conventional ingredients. We hope that by using as many organic ingredients as we do, we encourage more farmers to grow organic for a healthier earth and healthier bodies.

Sarah Velasco: What does Pure do to help the planet? 
Veronica Bosgraaf: As mentioned above, we use certified organic, vegan and non GMO ingredients. The positive impact of this on the earth is huge. Organic farming uses no dangerous pesticides, herbicides, sewage sludge, or radiation. Non GMO means we use only ingredients that are the way mother nature intended without being changed in a lab. Vegan means no animal products are used and no animals were harmed. All of these practices keep our earth, our waterways and our bodies much healthier. We also use recycled and recyclable packaging where we can.

Sarah Velasco: What three products would you recommend to readers that have never tried Pure products before?
Veronica Bosgraaf: Pure Wild Blueberry, Pure Chocolate Chunk Nut Ancient Grains, and Pure Fruit + Veggie Strips

Sarah Velasco: Anything else you would like our readers to know? 
Veronica Bosgraaf: We just launched 2 new products, Pure Cashew Coconut Bar and Pure Peanut Butter Chocolate Ancient Grains Bars. Sign up for our Pure Newsletter for exclusive promotions, recipes and first glimpses of our new products. For more info visit our website www.thepurebar.com