Hank Dessert Bars should be on your list if you're someone who likes to support locally made foods. Or if you're counting calories. Or if you're a gluten-phobe. Or if you like your foods without too much garbage in them. Or, heck, if you just like rich, indulgent desserts.
The company was founded by Stacie Shaw, a 25-year-old entrepreneur whose journey followed the path of many small bakeries.
"It was my grandmother's recipe; she used to make it for us every holiday," she says. "I always loved it. One year I asked her for the recipe, not even dreaming I would do anything with it. But when I made it for friends, I got such good feedback that it planted the seed for the business."
She continued the classic path of getting the business off the ground by selling the dessert bars at farmers markets, where she got feedback and fine-tuned the recipe.
"One of the things I kept hearing was, 'Is it gluten-free?'" she says. "It turned out that making it gluten-free — tweaking the ingredients and finding a gluten-free kitchen — wasn't that hard."
She shared a kitchen with a local gluten-free company. "Everyone in that industry works together," she says.
Then she began finding small stores that would sell it, such as Green Grocer. It's also sold online via Artizone. On January 18, it'll get a big bump when it hits the shelves at Dallas-area Central Market stores. A box of four is $6.99.
The bars are two-layered concoctions with a base of oats and a topping made with Belgian chocolate. The top is fudgy, while the bottom is like a soft oatmeal bar. The bars are only 170 calories per serving.
But it's the excellent flavors and choice of ingredients that make her line stand out. There are four varieties:
- Chocolate-peanut butter
- Butterscotch with peanut and cinnamon
- Dark chocolate with almond and ginger
- White chocolate with almond and espresso
As for the name: "My grandmother always called them the hank bar, so we finally asked," Shaw says. "She said, 'I got it from a guy named Hank.'"