Bobo’s Oat Bars seem to pop up everywhere around Colorado, and for good reason. The Boulder based bars opted out of using corn syrup and butter and instead uses organic rolled oats, brown-rice syrup and coconut oil. All bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, vegan and kosher. Most importantly, they’re delicious, and Boulder local mother-daughter team were quick to capitalize on this when they realized the popularity of their oat bars at schools and local businesses.

Beryl Stafford, a single mother, never thought she would have gotten into the food business. “I had just gotten divorced, and I was kind of at a low point in my life,” Stafford said. “I was raising two kids as a single mom, and I kind of needed to reinvent myself. I never in a million years thought that it would become a business that I could make a living at. It was kind of a diversion.”

Bobo’s officially began baking and distributing in 2004, and Stafford had no outside help in starting the business. Instead, she took on personal loans and a second mortgage and did all the accounting herself. The company ran this way until 2017, when Stafford looked to outside sources to expand and was met with overwhelming support from the Boulder community, including Ridgeline Ventures LLC, Boulder Investment Group Reprise and Boulder Food Group, to raise $8 million.

The company has recently expanded from one bakery in Boulder to add another in Longmont, with close to 200 employees total–175 of which are in Colorado.

“What’s first most important is that we manufacture the products ourselves,” CEO T.J. McIntyre said. “If we can do that right underneath our watch or here in Boulder, then we can have intimate control of the quality of the product.”

Bobo’s now sells internationally at Whole Foods, Amazon, and more,and annually does about $30 million in sales. The group intends on continuing expansion by adding more bakeries and bakers in Colorado to keep up with demand.

Kaylee was raised (but not *technically* born) in Colorado. She graduated from Regis University with a bachelor of arts in English. During her time at Regis she worked as a teaching assistant in a freshman classroom setting and in the writing center helping students on a variety of topics. While there, she discovered Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person, leading to her love of feminism and desire for equal rights for all. Kaylee is the managing editor for AboutBoulder, OnDenver, and a key member of the OnMetro team, launching this platform in cities across the United States.