In 1986, Gary Erickson was a competitive cyclist who made his living designing bike saddles. One day, while enjoying one of his mom's homemade pastries, he decided to start his own business using her recipes. He asked his friend Lisa Thomas to join him, and the two went into business together baking all-natural calzones and gourmet cookies for delis and café³ in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1990, Gary set off on a one-day, 175-mile bicycle ride. As usual, he packed the only energy bars on the market at the time. Halfway through the day, Gary realized he simply couldn't stomach another unappetizing, sticky, hard-to-digest bar. "After miles of riding and a number of those energy bars, I wanted a bar that actually tasted good," said Gary. Then and there, the inspiration for the CLIF? BAR was born.
Back in his mom's kitchen, Gary created an energy bar that tasted great and used only all-natural ingredients. He named the bar after his father Clifford, with whom Gary spent many summers hiking throughout the glorious Sierra Nevada mountains. CLIF Bar was introduced to the public in 1992 by what was then known as Kali's Bakery. The company was renamed Clif Bar Inc. in 1997, and remains privately held to this day, with Gary as CEO.
Once found only in bike/outdoor stores and natural food markets, distribution has grown to include grocery and convenience stores, as well as health clubs and spas. For the past four years, Clif Bar Inc. has named one of the nation's fastest-growing private companies by Inc. magazine. The company continues to innovate, creating new flavors and products, including LUNA? The Whloe Nutrition Bar for Women?, the CLIF BAR ICE SERIES?, and CLIF SHOT? with the Litter Leash?.
From the very beginning, Clif Bar Inc. has placed a strong emphasis on interacting with customers and listening and responding to their needs. The creation of LUNA, kosher certification, increased soy protein and additional antioxidants, and improved texture and flavors are all direct results of consumer input. All consumer mail is answered. Employees travel to sporting events and shows sponsored where they can meet CLIF and LUNA lovers face to face. We look forward to meeting you!
Committed to making the world "a better place to live, work and eat," Clif Bar Inc. sponsors hundreds of non-profit organizations and charitable events annually. Gary also makes it a priority to help his employees maintain balance in all aspects of their lives, providing such perks as indoor climbing walls, a complete workout facility, personal trainers, camping and skiing trips, and volunteer opportunities on company time. For 2001, Clif Bar Inc. employees have committed to working 2080 volunteer hours of community service?that's the equivalent number of hours worked by one full-time employee.