SALEM, Ore.— Liv Foods, Inc., maker of LivBar, organic superfood energy bars, has hired Wade Brooks as their new CEO. Upon his arrival, Brooks raised a Series A investment round, led by Leatherwood Capital, to help grow the distribution channel and pursue a national product roll-out.
“LivBar has everything you want to see in a consumer packaged goods company, beyond their healthy and delicious superfood bars, they have regional distribution, excellent branding and packaging, and are certified USDA Organic. What LivBar lacked, was growth capital to move beyond the regional markets and address a national audience hungry for their bars,” said CEO Brooks.
Brooks is no stranger to running early stage, high growth companies. His first company, which he founded in college, went on to become the first Apple Computer Value-Added Reseller in the United States. Since those early years, he has run three companies and performed turnarounds for two additional companies. He is also one of the founding board members of The Greater Sum Foundation, providing funding to early stage, scalable, non-profit organizations. Most recently, he was Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice at Willamette University MBA, founding the world’s first university angel investment fund in 2008 and named Faculty Member of Year in 2016. Brooks also recently spent a semester in New Zealand teaching early stage investing at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Economics and Finance. “New Zealand is beautiful and I contemplated staying to research and teach, but the opportunity to jump back into a high growth company and take it national was too compelling to pass up,” said Brooks.
“We are extremely excited that Wade decided to come on as our full-time CEO,” said original founders Jan and Gabe Johansen. “As our company continues to grow, it is imperative we have someone with entrepreneurial expertise, financial acumen, and management experience.”
LivBars are made with all natural, real-food ingredients, are 100 percent USDA Certified Organic, GMO-free, gluten free, other top allergen free (nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free) and packaged in a compostable wrapper. All of the bars are vegetarian and two flavors are vegan. The bars are currently available nationwide through livbar.com and Amazon Prime, and locally, through New Seasons Market, Roth’s, Market of Choice and Life Source Natural Foods. LivBar has also recently signed a national distribution contract with DPI Specialty Foods.
LivBar was founded in 2012 in Salem, Oregon by two nutrition and fitness experts, Jan and Gabe Johansen. When Jan could not find a truly healthy energy bar made from only real foods for her nutrition customers, she created the LivBar recipes. LivBars are crunchy and chewy and come in five delicious superfood flavors: Coffee Maple Cacao, Raspberry Kale Maca, Blueberry Vanilla Kale, Ginger Lemon Turmeric and Lemongrass Cherry Matcha.