8 To The Bar Snack Bars: Raising the "Bar" in CT

Camilla Klein

Finally, A healthy nutty snack that is doesn’t taste overpoweringly of high fructose corn syrup! I’m talking about the new 8 To The Bar snack bar that a pair of Connecticut cousins have recently brought to Fairfield county markets.

Made of a medley of eight different organic nuts, oats, dried fruit, honey and coconut, the bar has a great taste and texture. I particularly love the sour cherries that give the snack a tanginess, which, married with the sesame and coconut and the crunchiness of the nuts, translates to a taste that is deliciously more-ish.

The bar hits the mark for post exercise recharging. I tried my first bar after a five-mile run and found it both satisfying and energizing (not to mention delicious) – a fact that local fitness studios have cottoned on to. The bars are now available at Joyride, Kaia Yoga and the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.

The bar was created as a solution to the mid-song attack of the munchies that musician Jim Bruno would experience while working in his recording studio, in Darien, hence the name, 8 To The Bar, a nod to these musical beginnings.

Jim, the creative half of the 8 To The Bar team, has always liked to concoct things – both musical and culinary, but it was his wife who steered him to the organic, nutritious and wholesome ingredients that now make up every 8 To The Bar. “I dabbled with the recipe for about six months before I got it right,” says Jim, “My wife, who is very health conscious and serious about ingredients, would see what I was doing and say, ‘Wait, don’t use that, use this!”

Kathy Monahan, Jim’s cousin is the other half of the duo. The cousins formed the partnership after Kathy tried Jim’s bars when he brought them to a family gathering and suggested they take them to the marketplace.

Soon the pair were cooking, packaging and marketing the bar right here in Westport in a commercial kitchen on Saugatuck Avenue and began selling the bar in the Double L Market in June 2012.

Apart from taking up counter space at here and at various fitness locations, the bar is available at a number of small outlets such as The Organic Market in Westport, the Pantry in Fairfield and Wilton Organic Gourmet where it retails for around $4 per 2.4oz bar, but soon it will be available online through the duo’s website, www.8tothebarllc.com, which will soon have a shopping cart feature.

Looking to the future, Kathy is focusing on getting the bar to larger retailers – she recently placed it in Palmers Market in Darien and is working on getting the bars on the shelves in Fairways in Stamford and the pair will soon introduce a new 8oz package of bite size bars in a stand up zip lock pack.

8 To The Bar snack bars are now available at Joyride, Kaia Yoga and the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.