R.E.D.D. Bars was born on a college campus when founder Alden Blease couldn't quite afford the food plan offered. He chose to augment his nutrition with a bar that he made in his dorm room. R.E.D.D. has since grown to be one of the most recognizable nutrition bars on the market. Their goal: to provide better tasting, plant-based nutrition to support radiant health.
The most profound part of SIC's relationship with R.E.D.D. is our admiration for Alden's energy, drive & work ethic. At SIC, we primarily invest in people, whether with our time or expertise, an investment, or both. When a founder projects confidence, resilience & passion for his mission, there is very little that can stand in their way. That said, effectively channeling this energy is incredibly important to scaling safely and efficiently. Our vision with R.E.D.D. was to empower the person behind the business with the skills and experience necessary to scale and channel their energy to maximize impact.
When R.E.D.D. approached us about formalizing our relationship, we took one look at Alden and knew the most valuable thing we could give him was our experience and connections. He was confident in his ability to acquire the necessary funds needed to scale but needed supply chain and distribution guidance to maximize returns. So, we engaged in a sweat equity agreement in which SIC would develop a full-stack formalized business model, support efficient use of the supply chain, and leverage connections in the distribution and convenience sector to enable the actual sale of his product.
As we mentioned, Alden did not lack passion or drive and was very sharp. That said, he was young and inexperienced. Our approach was not to leave him with PowerPoints, documents, and Excel sheets but rather to mentor him in the truest definition of the word. We aimed to find a balance between spoon-feed solutions and leaving him out to dry. The result was a founder who had seen success, failure, and yes, a boat load of Powerpoints. Most importantly, though, Alden was now equipped with the knowledge to succeed and the experience to continue to carve his own path and channel his energy in the most effective way possible.