Every year when we go to Outdoor Retailer, our team seeks innovative products to bring back to our community. This year at Outdoor Retailer we discovered Fourpoints, a nutrition bar with real food ingredients that are ridiculous delicious. Fourpoints bars fueled our busy Outdoor Retailer show and our adventures in Colorado. We were lucky enough to hear the story behind the bars and meet the founding brothers Kevin and Patrick, and the friends they brought on to build Fourpoints, Steve and Jeff. Savor this sweet interview and then come in the shop to try out a Fourpoints bar.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What inspires you? What drives you? What brings you joy?
Fourpoints was founded by myself and my brother Patrick. We are 4th generation Colorado natives who grew up in the mountains west of Denver. We brought on our two friends Steve Shenfish and Jeff Kingsbury (also Colorado natives) and together we are the four legs of Fourpoints. In a nutshell we are just big kids at heart. We are ski bums, mountaineers, and outdoor enthusiasts. We are driven to push ourselves in the outdoors and in the elements. Nothing brings us joy more than an untouched powder field on a sub zero day or the solitude of standing atop a peak exhausted and full of adrenaline at the same time. Returning to nature and sharing those moments with friends and family is heaven to us.
What inspired you to start Fourpoints and develop your own type of bar?
The inspiration came out of necessity! Crashing and being exhausted at the worst possible times out in the wilderness or on a high peak became unacceptable not to mention dangerous. With backgrounds in sports-nutrition, fitness-training, and culinary arts, along with nutrition principles we learned in our families fight against diabetes, we set out to create a REAL FOOD, SLOW BURN energy bar. We balanced the proteins, fats, and low to moderate glycemic carbohydrates to support hours of sustained energy while avoiding sugar-spikes and crashes that derail performance and healthy blood sugar. It is a truly stand alone / one-of-a-kind product. Three years in and we are still the ONLY PLUM based bar on the market. The taste is unique and the function is unrivaled!
How did the bars get their name?
Fourpoints came about two ways. First, we had four goals in reverse engineering the energy bar. 1. Make it from 100% Real Food 2. Make it Slow-burning to avoid sugar spikes and crashes 3. Structure the macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs) to solicit 3-4 of digestive time thus providing 3-4 hours of energy. 4. Make is delicious! Then we realized that the number four is rooted in nature; four seasons, four elements, four points of the compass.
What is Fourpoints’ mission? What is your personal life mission? How do they influence one another?
Our goal is to be the "Patagonia" of the energy bar category. To be "the" premium go-to energy bar for the outdoor industry. Our mission is to educate people on proper nutrition and better understanding of the role sugar plays in the body and also use our platform to not only fuel your performance but to protect the public land you play on We feel they go hand-in-hand. On a personal level we feel we have an obligation and responsibility to that end.
How do you incorporate play into your life to create a healthy work/life balance? Tell us about the inspiration for the #whereveryouplay.
We built our business in the outdoors so it is an organic fit for us. It was a product we originally made for ourselves. Being so heavily invested "personally" in the outdoors and the places we play in, it was also an organic opportunity for us to do something we've always wanted to do. We pivoted the tagline we created for our product to take it a step further and basically say Fourpoints is for wherever you play, and those places you play need your voice and protection, so don't just post pictures of your outdoor endeavors, think about how you can protect and preserve those places. We are going to connect consumers with conservancies and promote better awareness and advocacy for conservation efforts. Now go out and promote that and use #whereveryouplay.
What are some of the obstacles you have overcome to pursue this dream?
Disrupting the market and changing consumer buying behavior. You know the saying; "If it was easy everyone would be doing it?" There is an easy way, but if we wanted to be more of the same, well there's a template for that and it's been done over and over again. Creating something new and doing things differently is tough when everyone else is zigging and we zag. It takes time for people to catch on.
What are you excited about right now?
I'm really excited about the conservation side of our business that we're building, it truly is groundbreaking. We live in a political climate right now where our public lands are being threatened and our monuments downsized. I can't think of anything more important to our lifestyle and our industry than protecting those places.
What piece of advice do you have for outdoor enthusiasts who also have a passion for quality food?
Truly think about what you're eating, why you're eating it, and for what goal. Most people tend to view nutrition without connecting the dots to their performance and well being. If you're looking for a quick burst of energy to support a 30-45 min gym workout, well that is totally different than those looking for long sustained energy for serious activity and work. We live in a society where everyone wants the quick fix. That isn't real. Do your due diligence and don't just fall for the latest fads that are going around. They all eventually fade away. There is no substitute for good balanced nutrition.
What would you have done differently when you started your company if you knew then what you know now?
Nothing! Just kidding. But seriously, we don't have a negative relationship with failures or mistakes, that's how you learn and ultimately succeed. It's hard to pinpoint any one thing, and I truly believe things happen for a reason. For example, if we had succeeded right out of the gate we might not be having this conversation now. The climate both in the food industry and in the outdoor industry, particularly with public lands, is honestly the perfect time for us to be bursting on to the scene.
Launching the conservation arm of Fourpoints and bridging the gap between the outdoor industry and the natural foods industry. We do a lot of good work with the American Diabetic Association as well and will be growing our support of them as we try to educate consumers on good sugars versus bad.
What’s your favorite bar and why?
Trailhead Gingerbread. There are two types of people; those who hate pumpkin and ginger-spice lattes and those who wish they were year-round staples. I'm the latter. A cup of coffee with a gingerbread bar is like getting smacked in the face with a warm splash of sun on a crisp fall morning.
Bonus question: What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
We all want to be remembered for something right? I lost a close personal friend of mine this year that died at the young age of 64. He was a mentor to me in both life and business and Fourpoints would not exist without his belief in us. He was the closest thing to a real life Saint the way he lived his life and impacted people. I often start my day asking "what would he do?" Since his passing I have tried to live fearlessly as he did in both life and business and live up to his belief in me. I would be mad at myself if I looked back at my life and realized I played it safe because I was too afraid to fail. So, to answer your question, I want to look back and be proud of myself for being a good husband, father, and friend. I want my daughter to grow up in a world that I somehow made a little bit better with a little energy bar that made a big impact.