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Aug. 24, 2010
The Story Behind the Jersey: Limited Edition CLIF Cycling Jersey, Honoring the Late Clif Erickson

Way back in 1990, I went on a 175-mile bike ride with my buddy, Jay. In preparation for the ride, we packed six energy bars for the ride—the only energy bar on the market at the time. At mile-120 we made it to the top of Mt. Hamilton, but we realized that we still had a lot of road ahead of us. Tired and famished, I pulled the last energy bar out of my pack, but as hungry as I was, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it. In that moment I couldn’t help but ask myself “What if energy bars were delicious?” The minute I asked the question, I realized that I could make something better—an energy bar that tasted great, was made with all-natural ingredients and that could help get me through my long rides. It was an epiphany moment and I decided to follow the inspiration.

Picture of Gary

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of that epiphany moment I had at the top of Mount Hamilton and to honor the love and support my dad gave me as I started and grew Clif Bar & Company, I designed this limited edition CLIF Cycling Jersey. I wear this jersey on my long rides knowing that my dad is still cheering me on.

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Posted by:
Guest Starring
Office Life, r@nd0m

Aug. 10, 2010
Design Is How it Works at Clif Bar & Company (UPDATE: Winner’s Announced)

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment and for supporting Jay’s new book. The winners (who will receive signed copies of Jay and Gary’s books and a month’s supply of CLIF BARs) are: Samantha, jnylyn78 and mommaof3ontherun. Congrats!

Way back in 2006, Clif Bar & Company founder, co-owner, and co-CEO, Gary Erickson published his book Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar & Company recounting Clif Bar’s origins and our journey to become a different kind of company. Today in 2010, Clif Bar is once again the subject of another great new book: Design is How it Works, How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons, by Jay Greene. In this book, Jay Greene, former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and an award-winning journalist, explores how Clif Bar and other successful companies have made design thinking part of their DNA.

Design Is How it Works by Jay Greene - About Clif Bar

Jay visited Clif Bar & Company for a few days in October, 2008. He caught us at a particularly exciting time — not only did he visit us a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, his visit also coincided with our Annual Epiphany Ride and Halloween festivities. In celebration of Jay’s book hitting shelves, I asked Jay to tell us about his book and his visit to Clif Bar & Company. We will also be doing a little giveaway — leave a comment on this blog post today and three people will be randomly chosen to receive an autographed copy of Jay’s book, an autographed copy of Gary’s book, and a month supply of CLIF BARs in your favorite flavor!

Kate: What is “design thinking”?
Jay: It’s really the practice of applying the skills designers use to create products to solve all sorts of business challenges, even ones that don’t require a focus on aesthetics. Designers intuitively use creativity and empathy to help them create something that has an emotional connection with customers. They prototype concepts and collaborate with colleagues to test theories and come up with novel approaches to new products. Design thinking applies those concepts to businesses where appearance doesn’t count for much. Design thinkers use anthropology, sociology and psychology to study customers in order to understand their unstated and unmet needs. 

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Posted by:
Kate Torgersen
Office Life, Sustainability

Jul. 20, 2010
Win a Year’s Supply of CLIF BARs! (UPDATE: Winner Announced!)

UPDATE: Entries are officially closed! Thanks to everyone for the amazing response. We’ll announce the winner this Monday, August 2.

UPDATE 2: The moment has come! Congratulations to nrogers—our grand-prize winner—for going above and beyond, creating a entire mock blog, post entries and more. Truly an awesome effort that deserves to be recognized.

And the runners up: Swisscheez, TisShannon, and Capecodbeer—You’ll each get something for you great submissions.

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and dropped their creative comment. This was an EXTREMELY difficult decision, as there were so many awesome entries. But at the end of the day, someone has to win!

So you wake up on any given weekday morning. You brew your coffee/tea, which you quickly pour into your travel mug, then reach into your bag for that trusty CLIF BAR. Uh oh. Fresh out!

You just hate it when that happens, we know. Well, we’re here to help. We want to load up one lucky Clif fan with a year’s supply of bars, a lofty prize for any CLIF BAR lover.

But we don’t want to simply give hundreds of bars away at random. We want someone creative, active, funny and/or someone that’s just plain-old passionate about Clif products and the lifestyle Clif Bar & Company promotes. So we ask you this question.

What would you do with a year’s supply of CLIF BARs?

Entries will be judged based on their content by creativity and originality, and the winner will be contacted via email. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post (if you’re not already registered, you’ll want to do that first) and tell us what you’d do with a year’s supply of CLIF BARs. (Make sure you read the full contest rules here before submitting.)

If you want to make a video (YouTube, Facebook...) or share a pic (Flickr, Twitpic, Facebook...) that might help your cause, just include the link(s) in your comment. But that’s not a must. Just be yourself and we’ll take that into consideration.

Starting now, you’ll have until July 29, 2010 (11:59pm PT to be exact) to get your comment in. Only one comment per person will be counted, so make it good!

While there will only be one grand prize winner, we’ll choose our top five and give the runners up something to snack on. More chances to win!

Good luck!

(Because of international food shipping restrictions, you must have a valid US mailing address within the 50 States to qualify as a winner.)

View the official contest rules here.

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Posted by:
Chris Morell
Office Life

Jul. 16, 2010
VIDEO: Four Minutes with No Impact Man, Colin Beavan

Clif Bar & Company is often graced with special guests, and this week we were lucky enough to be visited by Colin Beavan. For an entire year, Colin and his family lived as environmentally as possible, meaning no electricity, no fossil fuel based transportation, no...well, you get the picture. Definitely an extremely daunting task considering that Colin and his family live in the heart of craziness: Manhattan.

Colin documented his journey in a book and movie of the same name, ”No Impact Man.” It’s an incredibly interesting and eye-opening project that is parallel to many things that Clif Bar is trying to do on the sustainability front. So what he went though hit home for us.

Later in the day, I was able to grab Colin to give us the lowdown on the No Impact Man project and answer a few questions along the way, including small steps you can take at home to cut down on waste. After checking out the vid, do yourself a favor and hop on over to Colin’s website for a heap of great info.

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Posted by:
Chris Morell
Office Life, Sustainability

Jun. 29, 2010
Clif Bar & Company Becomes 20 Percent Employee-owned

I’m extremely happy to announce that Clif Bar & Company has officially become 20 percent employee owned! Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford (Clif Bar husband and wife owners) have been devising a way to give back to the many Clif Bar employees that make this company thrive. So they’ve turned their family-owned common stock into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Employees through the ESOP own 20 percent of the company, while Gary and Kit retain the remaining 80 percent.

Kit and Gary

“All along we wanted to create a company where we would want to work,” said Kit. “Employee ownership is one more way we could run a different kind of business: one that inspires a team of people to make the kind of delicious, nutritious food we’d like to eat, and that strives for a healthier, more sustainable world.”

For Gary, “Our company is our people. By retaining private, employee ownership we will continue to have the freedom and flexibility to build a sustainable business with long-term focus for future generations.” No change in management structure will take place, with Gary and Kit remaining majority owners and co-CEOs of the company.

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Posted by:
Kate Torgersen
Office Life

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About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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