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From kitchen to community: Homemade 'Man Bar' turns into growing nutrition business

Kerri Bartlett
Dave and Jan Dalton created Ebars, a line of nutrition bars that are Certified 100 percent USDA Organic, Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher. They are sold in stores around Williamson County and Nashville. The couple developed their passion for healthy foods into a growing business. 

In 2006, Dave Dalton began making nutrition bars in his kitchen at home, which he dubbed, “Man Bars.”
“I just began messing around in the kitchen with ingredients, which was the impetus for the ‘man bar,’” Dave said. His work eventually evolved into the growing business Ebars, a nutrition bar company in Franklin. 
Ebars, owned by Dave and wife Jan, officially opened the doors to its factory location just six months ago.
Dave, a former partner in a golf business, decided to devise his own organic recipe in his kitchen years ago when he was unable to find a nutrition bar in stores that he liked—in taste and ingredients. 
With a penchant for organic ingredients, he charged himself with the mission of concocting his own, fresh, homemade bar absent man-made ingredients and fillers.
Miss Tennessee Shelby Thompson recently stopped by 9 Fruits in Cool Springs for a smoothie as Jan Dalton was making a delivery to the store, that carries her Ebars. Shelby Thompson (left), Jan Dalton and Dan Banks CEO and President of 9 Fruits. Kerri Bartlett
His ingredients, many of which were organic, included almond butter, nuts, seeds and fruit, which produced homemade flavors that gained a following among family and friends who tried the bar.
“I never expected the bars to become a business when I was making them in my kitchen,” he said.
However, when he began sharing them in the neighborhood, among friends and at his children’s schools, people just kept asking for more.
“It became too much for one person,” he said. “I was spending too much time in the kitchen.”
He realized that the endless requests were turning into a full-blown business and he needed reinforcement.
Then, when someone at a local restaurant, mentioned his bars, a bystander exclaimed, “You are the ‘man bar’ guy,” he realized he had something special.
“It was like a light bulb moment, when I thought, this could really be something,” Dave said.
The Daltons now make about 2,000 Ebars a week, and business is growing. “We grow about 20 percent each month,” Dave said.
However Dave is not new to the organic scene. After a diagnosis of a kidney stone, he began eating organic in 1984, before the organic wave met the mainstream with the opening of stores like Whole Foods and now organic juice bars.
“It was kind of a hippie thing back then,” he said. Dave rode the health wave all the way to today with the opening of Ebars.
The organic path has kept him healthy.
“He never gets sick,” Jan said.
“I actually haven’t been sick in about a decade,” Dave said.
Leading a healthy lifestyle for so many years bloomed into the business.
When the Daltons decided to sell the bars in the community, they embarked upon perfecting the recipe and ingredients—to make it even better than the original ‘Man Bar’ concocted in the Dalton’s kitchen.
The bar holds three certifications, including 100 percent USDA Organic ingredients, Gluten-Free and kosher—a very rare combination for nutrition bars in the current market.
EBars is not only more than a nutrition bar manufacturing company, but an organic technology company with a mission. “We want to change the way people eat and experience energy bars,” Dave said.
Much scientific research and trials have gone into making the various kinds of Ebars comprised of two lines including “eSports” bars and “eLifestyle” bars.
They call it “Organic Super Fuel” or OPEN, Organic Performance Enhancing Nutrition, which gives the body the nutrients it needs to sustain energy throughout the day. Such ingredients that help accomplish that goal are raw guarana (stimulant from a South American leaf), maca (Peruvian root) and cordyceps (herbal mushrooms).
“When you combine the elements for focus and calm that equals ‘The Zone,’” Dave said, when the body can perform at its best.
Add to it different combinations of organic raspberries, blueberries, apples, cinnamon, cocoa and almond butter made in house, and a nutrient packed homemade tasting bar is born.
The GOLF sport bar is being used by golfers on the PGA Tour, and RUN bars are being consumed by runners and athletes in the area.
Also the lifestyle bars tote acronyms describing each bar including MAN (Men’s Advanced Nutrition), MOM (Mom’s Organic Momentum) and FUN (Fantastic Unbelievable Nutrition) for kids.
However, Jan emphasized that no matter one’s gender each bar is for anyone to try.
“I started out loving the MAN bars, but eventually asked Dave, ‘What about my bar,’ so we came up with the MOM bar. MAN and MOM are delicious, I switch up everyday.”
The bars are currently sold at 9 Fruits in Franklin, The Juice Bar in Brentwood, Fleet Feet in Brentwood, The Good Cup in Grassland, Urban Juicer in Nashville among others.
The company has even recruited local ambassadors including Christy Beth Adams, owner of Fleet Feet in Brentwood, who is pictured on the RUN bar. The bar was sold in her store during the pilot launch of the brand. The Daltons have even equipped mission workers in Honduras and India with the bars.
Ebars, LLC is currently giving a portion of proceeds to St. Jude hospital through a promotion code: STJUDE on their website, or visit Fleet Feet in Brentwood or Green Hills to purchase Ebars with part of the proceeds going to St. Jude. For information, visit 

Posted on: 2/27/2014


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