When co-founders Ali Kothari and Johnny Fayad started at Northeastern University in 2012, they were constantly late to their 8 ams, were always on the go, and never had time to prepare a proper breakfast and drink a cup of coffee.
So the two wanted a product that would fill you up but keep you awake; essentially combining coffee and a meal into one. They took that concept and created New Grounds Food, with their main product the CoffeeBar, doing just what they imagined.
In their freshman dorm, Ali and Johnny would experiment perfecting the recipe for what is now known as the CoffeeBar. They would go to Shaws and buy ingredients, experiment, and start again if that batch didn’t taste good.
According to Kothari, they “wanted something made from stuff found in your pantry, not in a lab.” After numerous attempts, they finally found the perfect secret recipe.
After friends had tried the bars and gave rave reviews, the two decided to enter the CoffeeBar and New Grounds Food into the Husky Startup Challenge, which showcases and rewards up-and-coming Northeastern University-founded startups with a chance to make it big.
After winning the “Audience Choice” award at the Demo Day, Kothari and Fayad knew that they had to continue with their endeavor, so in September 2014, they went to Kickstarter to fund the continuation of the CoffeeBar.
15 hours passed and they raised $10,000. In two weeks, $25,000. After 45 days, a little over $44,000.
The CoffeeBar was a success. They could finally mass produce and package the CoffeeBar for worldwide consumption.
Since then, New Grounds Food has received gap funding from Northeastern University, has gone through both a convertible note and seed round, and have their headquarters based in downtown Boston near the Financial District.
But what exactly is their product, the CoffeeBar?
The CoffeeBar is an energy bar and coffee alternative that contains a full cup of fair trade coffee. It appeals to all kinds of lifestyles: it’s vegan, gluten-free and can be eaten by vegetarians; there are no preservatives and artificial flavoring; it’s all natural; and most important of all, it’s made in the USA.
You can bring it on the go to work, before a workout, before class… basically anywhere. The best thing about the CoffeeBar is that you don’t need to wait for the bar to brew; you can pick it up and take it to go in a matter of seconds.
Currently, the CoffeeBar has three different flavors: Mocha Latte (the most popular), Coconut Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato. My favorite is the Mocha Latte, which has a nice texture because of the cashews and almond butter in the bar. I was skeptical at first, but once I finished my first CoffeeBar, I felt energized and mentally refreshed and ready to start the day.
Looking forward, New Grounds Food continues to grow and deliver quality CoffeeBars to all 50 states and all around the world. They have more flavors coming out and possibly a new product along the way. Their goal for this year — sell 1 million CoffeeBars.
If you want to help them reach their goal, you can go to their website and purchase some CoffeeBars. You’ll get a sweet discount by using the code NUspoonU.