The shār story
As a child, our founder spent all his time playing outside in Vermont. That infused a love for the outdoors and a yearning to always be active. This deep-seated passion inspired Peter Rushford to pursue a 5-year odyssey as a professional skier, coach, and ski instructor. On this pursuit, he discovered a premium sunglass brand consumers wanted but had a hard time finding. In response, Peter convinced the brand to let himself and a small crew represent their product line and started selling their shades out of a van up and down the East Coast. That excursion turned into a 37-year journey of working with some of the most iconic outdoor brands in the world selling to people that loved the outdoors as much as he did.
In 2013, Peter decided to get into yoga and CrossFit as well as started looking for healthier and more nutrient-dense foods to snack on to better compliment his new wellness routine. The problem was that healthy snacks that tasted amazing were hard to find so he turned to a snack he grew up on outdoors, trail mix. Unfortunately, every version he tried was bland, unhealthy, or both. Thus, he began a quest to create the best-tasting trail mix possible using a decades-old handcrafted wooden bowl made to hold the variety of ingredients and the volume he wanted to test. After 36 months and 52 iterations, he landed on 9 incredible ingredients with just the right combination of flavors, textures, and proportions. He then spent the next 12 months searching for the best of each ingredient from around the world to make sure each was organic and responsibly sourced from small family-owned farms. Ingredients that are grown the way nature intended, free of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. After four years, the recipe and the ingredients were finally ready for the ‘trail’. He now had an organic, GMO-free, plant-based, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly snack made in small batches sourced from socially responsible artisan farmers and with no preservatives, stabilizers, or sweeteners - just clean 100% organic ingredients. All crafted together to create an orchestra of flavors and a symphony of textures to make what we proudly called an “impossibly good snack”. As all that was happening, Peter was trying to come up with a name for the company. During that time, he went through 1,200 ideas yet nothing matched the level of the product nor what he wanted to convey. Just as he was about to give up and move forward with a lackluster placeholder name, he was nudged by a stranger not to settle for that name. That divine nudge inspired Peter to approach the process differently. To think about what he really appreciated in life and in work. He loved sharing — the outdoors, an active lifestyle, and of course, the stories behind the products and brands that made his sales career so rewarding. This idea perfectly complemented another of Peter’s long-held beliefs: that we all share this earth, its bounty, and crucially for his business’ values, responsibility for it. And so, with a little play on words and some phonetic spelling to differentiate it, the name shār was born (pronounced like ‘bear’ as in the bear with the bird in our logo). But we didn’t stop there. This was too important and there was a bigger vision unfolding. Now we needed packaging that was as good for the planet as the product was for our taste buds and our bodies. We started researching packaging options, presentation formats, and sampling materials while imagining different ways the brand could repay Mother Nature for all the rich outdoor experiences she gifts us every single day.
That led us to create our unique ‘shār tube’ container made from recycled paper that was recyclable and biodegradable that you could use over and over to hold more trail mix or whatever valuables you wanted to protect. In doing so, shār became one of the first snack companies in the world to offer plastic-free, nature-friendly reusable packaging that has put us on an earth-first journey that now permeates every decision we make as a business.
Since we introduced shār to the world, that pursuit of great taste, commitment to quality ingredients, and earth-first ethos have paid off in the form of national awards for our trail mix, packaging, and brand. And our snacks can be found at retailers, ﬁtness centers, hotels, and other destinations in 32 states. It’s a journey that is just getting started and one that we hope you will join us on and create some great stories with us and shār them with your friends along the way.
Hungry for more?
Badges of honor
2022 Good Foods Awards Winner
– Snack Category
2021 Pentawards Silver Medal
– Sustainable Packaging Design
2021 Outdoor Retailer Design & Innovation & Awards
2021 Men’s Health 20 Best Snacks