Local nutrition bar maker plans expansion with community support.
Fort Collins, Colo. - Many of us work day jobs to pay the bills while cultivating our own big ideas - but rarely do we act on them. For Charly Clifford, Fort Collins long time resident, barista and entrepreneur, action has come in small steps. But that's about to change with the help of CommunityFunded.com, a Fort Collins start-up that seeks to give people with big ideas the opportunity to reach their goals.
Charly is the proud creator of The CharlyBar, a high-quality, gourmet health & energy bar that can be found on sale in local businesses throughout Downtown Fort Collins. He has been making bars since 2008 using his own time and resources, starting in his kitchen and moving into a very small commercial space beneath a local coffee shop. "I’m passionate about health and nutrition," Charly explains, it's cliche, but I wasn’t satisfied with what generally passes for energy bars, so I started experimenting with natural ingredients and recipes as a hobby. When my roommates and friends kept stealing my bars, I realized I was onto something."
Since then, Charly has developed his bars and his brand in between shifts at Mugs Coffee Lounge and until recently, the Crown Pub. "The biggest challenge has been balancing my "regular life" with my passion for CharlyBar." He explains. "When you have to work day-to-day to pay the bills, it's hard to have the time and to save the extra money needed to do follow your dreams."
Despite having a great product and a market eager to buy it, the up-front costs needed for higher production and wider distribution are steep enough to prevent the company from growing. "I have looked at loans and have been courted by potential investors,"Charly says, "but paying back high-interest loans is not the right move for me. I am concerned about taking on more debt in this economy.”
Enter CommunityFunded.com, a website developed by three CSU graduates and entrepreneurs that aims to make projects like Charly's attainable through the power of community funding. "My Community Funded project is a chance to share my passion and vision while giving back to the community that supports me." Charly beams. "Community Funded is the better alternative for my business." In return for pledges, Charly is offering a number of unique "Giftbacks" for supporters. These include CharlyBar bike jerseys, shirts and apparel, tickets to special events, gift cards donated by local businesses and even high-end Panda Bikes made of bamboo.
Local businesses can offer their goods or services as “Giftbacks” or funds for matching pledges for projects they support, raising money for great causes while attracting more customers and being recognized for their contributions. "If CharlyBar can grow it will supply an affordable, truly healthy food product, support our youth’s health and wellness with the CharlyBar Fund (with 1% of the its profits), and it will mean another unique Fort Collins company creating new jobs and opportunities." Charly concludes. "I am excited to make CharlyBar a community funded company."
Help Charly reach his goals by visiting www.CommunityFunded.com where you can “Help CharlyBar take the Plunge!”
More info on Charly Bar Here