A STORY…37 Years in the Making
Typical story: Kid grows up 1 of 9 kids, spends his childhood outdoors, becomes a pro-skier, creates a traveling ski circus, starts selling sunglasses out of the back of a van with his brothers, goes on to spend the next 37 years working with the most iconic outdoor brands, decides to run marathons, busts his Achilles, rehabs, takes up yoga and cross-fit, then realizes that all he really wants is a healthy snack to munch on.
So he begins a quest to create an impossibly good trail mix better than anything else he could find.
3 Years, 52 Recipes & 900 Hours later, the magical recipe was perfected. Another year finding the best of the best organic ingredients from artisan farmers. Now, he just needed a name. Went through 1,200, and finally settled on one. Luckily, a nice woman told him it was horrible (that’s a whole other story).
One long sleepless night & inspired morning later, the name Shār was born.
Now he needed packaging. It had to be as unique as the product (and good for the planet) so the reusable tube was born (cool story).
Then he met a guy (LG) as passionate about storytelling, amazing products, great brands, the outdoors and saving the planet as he was and brought him on board as a partner (true story).
Now they’re on a quest to make Shār the most sustainable, impossibly good snacking brand on the planet.
Want to get the skinny on the rest of our story? Follow the trail hereContinue Reading
As a child, Peter Rushford spent all his time playing outside in Vermont infusing a love for the outdoors and a yearning to always be active. This deep-seated passion inspired him to pursue a 5-year odyssey as a professional skier, coach, and ski instructor. In this pursuit, he discovered several premium outdoor brands and decided he wanted to help get their products in front of other consumers and started a sales agency to do so. 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, after a running injury, Peter got into yoga and CrossFit and started looking for healthier and more nutrient-dense foods to snack on to compliment his new wellness routine. He turned to a snack he grew up all those years playing outdoors, trail mix. Unfortunately, every version he tried was bland, unhealthy, or both. It led to a revelation that great-tasting healthy snacks were few and far between.
Thus, he began a quest to create the best-tasting trail mix possible and 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 to make sure each was responsibly sourced from small family-owned organic farms. Ingredients that are grown the way nature intended, free of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides.
After 4 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 call an “impossibly good” snack.
During that time, Peter was trying to come up with a name for the company. He went through 1,200 ideas yet nothing matched the level of the product nor the message he wanted to convey. Just as he was about to give up and move forward with a lackluster placeholder name, he was persuaded by a stranger not to settle. 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 the responsibility to take care of it. And so, with a little play on words and a phonetic spelling to differentiate it, the name shār was born (pronounced like ‘bear’ as in the bear with the bird in our logo).
But it didn’t stop there. This idea 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.
This led to the creation of our iconic ‘shār tube’ container that was recyclable and biodegradable and 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 as part of this earth-first journey we are on that permeates every decision we make as a business.
Soon after that Peter was working a booth at a health and wellness conference and met Lyn Graft (LG). They discovered that they both were ski instructors (back in the day), loved the outdoors, led stimulus-infused active lifestyles, and had a passion for the planet, sustainability, and conservation. Plus they both loved sharing great stories, discovering amazing products, and following inspiring brands.
That encounter eventually turned into a partnership with LG coming on board as the Chief Story Officer to help to grow the business and make Shār the planet’s most impossibly good healthy snack brand. A relationship is emblematic of our desire to forge partnerships with purpose-driven people, organizations, and companies that want to support the planet and the communities we serve.
Since shār has been introduced 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 hundreds of retailers, ﬁtness centers, hotels, and other destinations in 32 states. We are on a mission to be one of the most sustainable snack companies in the world and hope to inspire other brands to join us and go plastic-free and responsibly source all of their ingredients and supplies.
It’s a journey that is just getting started and one that we hope you will join us on, create unforgettable stories, and help us show the world that we can build a stellar impossibly good healthy snack.Hide Story
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Badges of honor
2022 Good Foods Awards Winner
– Snack Category
2021 Pentawards Silver Medal
– Sustainable Packaging Design
2021 Outdoor Retailer Design & Innovation & Awards