Now that we've unveiled 3 our favorite hidden gems (cookies and hummus and seeds, oh my!) it's time to delve into 3 of our favorite Boston brands whose products are now being sold nationwide.
If you're joining us for the first time? Check out week one's blog in the "Boston Brands We Love" series listing 3 of our favorite rising stars or last week's post listing 3 of our favorite hidden gems.
Okay, onto this week:
3 Boston Brands We Love (The National Brand Edition)
1. Atlas Bars - Duxbury, MA
Do these bars look familiar? If you live in the Northeast, the answer is likely yes. Because they are currently being sold everywhere. From small local shops to Big Y to Roche Brothers to Price Chopper. And now they're even available on Amazon. Which, sheesh, pretty much makes them worldwide at this point.
Seen them around but haven't tried them yet? Below are a few reasons to give 'em a taste:
Atlas Bars are described as one of "the cleanest protein bars on the planet". Take one look at the ingredients and you'll see why.
Every single bar they produce is:
- High in protein
- Low in sugar
- Grassfed Whey
Whew, that's quite a (6AM-Health-approved) list!
But the main point is this: Atlas Bar uses real ingredients. With lots of clean protein and almost no sugar.
This is all very intentional. And it comes straight from the top. Namely, from the company's CEO, James Oliver.
James is not only the Atlas Bar Founder & CEO. He is also a certified sports nutritionist. And his simple philosophy on nutrition is the foundation of what we love about this company. After years of researching nutrition and exercise, here is what he has come to find:
"The healthiest diets minimize sugar, include quality sources of protein, and maximize clean real foods."
Of course, we love everything about this philosophy. The simplicity. The research-backed basis. And, of course, the real-food factor.
Oh, and hey, fun fact: James and Brad, our 6AM Health Founder & CEO, attended the same school! Tufts. Which also happens to be the next location where 4 new Fresh Fridges will be popping up in the next few weeks (where we'll be stocking some of our Boston faves, including Atlas Bars!)
So whether you're an athlete or just a regular guy or gal tryin' to eat a little healthier, give one of these fueling protein bars a try. They're not only tasty and satisfying – but they actually live up to their health claims. With real, clean ingredients.
2. Spindrift - Newton, MA
Speaking of real ingredients, let's talk real, fresh-squeezed fruit for a minute. Because that's the not-so-secret ingredient one our next Boston faves, Spindrift, uses to sweeten their sparkling waters. In fact, it's the only ingredient they use to sweeten their drinks.
Just squeezed fruit? "Yup, that's it" (as they say on every can).
Actually, this is the thing that sets them apart in the land of the bubbly waters. They were America's first sparkling water ever to be made with real squeezed fruit, and are still to this day the only ones doing this.
So, what inspired this innovative seltzer?
Once again, this story starts with the founder, Bill Creelman. Bill has always been all about teaching his children the value of homegrown food and serving his family meals made with real, clean ingredients.
And yet, somehow, he constantly found himself reaching for zero-calorie drinks that seemed, well, exactly the opposite of real or clean – pumped with chemically altered ingredients dubbed as "natural flavors".
It was then he realized...huh. There really aren't any options when it comes to clean, healthy drinking. So he set out to change this.
"It's time real food had a real drink."
And alas! Spindrift was born. Sparkling water made with real fruit, sourced from real farmers. The difference is in the ingredients, and it's a difference you can absolutely taste.
Check out their latest fruit offerings here. And pick up a case at your local, well, pretty much anywhere.
3. UNREAL Chocolate - Boston, MA
Wanna hear a cool story? UNREAL chocolate – which is now nationally distributed, wildly successful, and promoted by the ultimate Bostonian, Tom Brady, was founded by two teenage brothers, Nicky and Kristopher Bronner.
You heard that right. Teenagers. And while they had a little help from their marketing savvy, Boston entrepreneur Dad, Michael Bronner, most of us can probably agree that this is a pretty impressive feat.
*Quickly thinks back to what we were up to as teens.* Yep, most impressive, indeed.
So what's the UNREAL difference?
Well, rather than being loaded with excess sugar, chemicals, and artificial ingredients as candy typically is – UNREAL candy relies on natural ingredients (sense a theme here today?)
In other words, this healthier alternative to candy uses no hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial flavorings, GMOs, or preservatives. And it has about 40% fewer grams of sugar than normal candy.
Wondering about the taste? Give it a try. You won't be disappointed. Because this family trio tried over a thousand recipes (no, literally) before landing on the perfect balance of flavor and nutrition.
As the boys will tell you, who, by the way, are in their 20s now – this is not meant to replace your fruits and veggies. It's still candy. Just a much healthier, more natural alternative.
And hey, if it's healthy enough for Tom Brady, it's healthy enough for us.
Thanks for helping to "un-junk the world" UNREAL Chocolate!
Bravo, to these three Boston-built brands! We love what you're doing.
Want to learn more? Check them out here:
Join us next week for our final blog in the Thursday Three Series: Boston Brands We Love!
Until then, keep it real!
Photo cred: Madeline Berry