Westchester mom, Melissa Wessely, is hoping to take the protein bar market by storm with her line of crispy, creamy Super Pop bars.
Wessely always had a passion for healthy eating and nutrition, but when her oldest daughter was born, the desire to find healthy options that were easy to eat on the go went into overdrive. Frustrated after looking at label after label with artificial ingredients and sugars, Wessely became determined to create her own all-natural snacks that were not only tasty and portable, but would also appeal to adults and kids alike.
Wessely spent nearly a year researching and experimenting with different recipes and ingredients. Coming home after a long day at the office, she would often spend her nights baking and having her husband, Jeremy, taste-test her latest batch of protein bars. After a promising recipe using popcorn didn’t quite work out as planned, Wessely struck gold when she came across a bag of puffy quinoa at a local health food store. The ingredient finally gave her recipe the consistency and taste she was looking for, and Super Pop bars were born.
“I would spend all day at my full time job, and after putting my daughter to bed I would make the bars in my kitchen,” said Wessely. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but didn’t find my passion until I began this.”
In the early days, the business was a family affair with her daughter putting labels on the bars and helping at their booth at the Playa Vista Farmers’ Market. As the five-year-old business has grown, however, so has its operations, which have moved from her Westchester kitchen to a bigger facility that makes and packages the bars. Now that she doesn’t have to concentrate on baking, Wessely is focusing her energy on new recipes, sales and expanding her business. Most importantly, however, the product’s move to the new facility has allowed Wessely to grow her family, and she and her husband welcomed their second daughter five months ago.
“It’s been hard but inspiring,” said Wessely about juggling her business and family responsibilities. “Being a mom gives you special skills–I have great time management!”
Super Pop bars are now available in more than 50 markets, juice bars and cafes in California, New York, Florida and Texas, and Wessely has big plans for her company’s future. New flavors, Horchata and Mocha, are in the works (joining Peanut Butter Chocolate, Peanut Butter Honey, Almond Blueberry and Almond Chocolate), and she’s launching a Kickstarter campaign this summer to help raise funds for new packaging. The goal is to increase the shelf life of the bars in the hopes of distribution in the country’s largest health food stores.
“I really want the business to grow,” says Wessely. “The dream is to make it a national brand and have people from all over try the bar.”
She is also eager to teach her daughters the importance of hard work and following your dreams.
“I hope they’ll both be proud of me and take over the business one day,” said Wessely, who these days, often juggles answering emails and phone calls while playing with her baby. “I hope it will teach my girls that if you put your mind to it and are passionate about something, you can make anything happen. Also, that it is possible to be a mom, wife and entrepreneur!”
Visit superpopsnacks.com for more info. Enter WESTCHESTER30 at checkout for a 30% discount in May in honor of Mother’s Day.
Posted May 2018.