“Did you say dude? Isn’t this SHE’S Fit to Lead?” Yup. Most days, our mission is to empower women through inspiring stories of other women doing incredible things. However, when we came across This Bar Saves Lives,we just knew we had to share. It’s the mission that’s the story – not whether the founders are guys or girls. For every bar you buy, This Bar Saves Lives gives a packet of life saving food to a child in need. With almost a million packets donated thus far, how awesome is that? Awesome enough for Kristen Bell to take note and invest btw! Meet Ryan Devlin (um, yes, Brothers and Sisters, Veronica Mars, that one), co-founder and CEO, and learn more about this incredible mission (and please, please, get involved in helping):
What exactly is This Bar Saves Lives?
This Bar Saves Lives is a more than just a social enterprise — it’s a movement. Our mission is to lift millions of children from the grips of malnutrition in a simple, delicious way. For every bar sold, we give life-saving food to a child in need.
What inspired you to found This Bar Saves Lives?
I went to Liberia with TBSL co-founder, Todd Grinnell, and we saw firsthand the devastating effects of severe acute malnutrition. These were innocent, beautiful children who were just wasting away. But the incredible thing is it’s totally treatable and preventable. We knew right then and there that we needed to do something about it. But rather than go the charity route, we decided to build a sustainable way for people to be able to make an impact every day.
How has This Bar Saves Lives changed your life?
Well, in pretty much every way imaginable! I’ve gone from a very fun, but not particularly fulfilling, life as an actor and TV host, to one that throws me incredible challenges and rewards every day. I’m still in entertainment, but my daily gig is running TBSL. I recently took the team to Haiti where we saw the results of the giveback mission we’ve built into our company. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Plus, an added perk of being CEO of This Bar, is that I always have delicious snacks in the house!
What is your favorite part of running This Bar Saves Lives?
Working with our awesome team of employees and loyal supporters every day is inspiring and motivating. We’re growing so fast right now, there’s always a million things to work on, so the energy is incredible. And, of course, the impact of what we’re doing makes the long nights and endless grind worth it. We’re helping to save lives. It’s not every day that you get to say that. Unless you work for TBSL.
Are there any negatives to your job?
What do you do when you and co-founders Todd Grinnell and Ravi Patel disagree? How do you work it out?
We often disagree and I think that’s a great thing. Sometimes it slows down the decision making process, but it almost always yields a stronger final product or decision. We communicate great. Like an old married couple who just wants the best for the family.
Do you think it’s any different or any easier being a male founder than a female founder?
Maybe, but I don’t really know. We have incredibly smart women on our team of investors, advisors, and staff. I’d be lost without them. Just as I’d be lost without the guys on our team. It’s a family. My hat is off to anyone who takes the entrepreneurial leap to found a company – man or woman. We’re all a bit crazy.
What is next for This Bar Saves Lives?
This fall is going to be bonkers! Full re-branding of our look — it’s even more awesome than it is right now, major expansions — top secret for now, exciting new recipes, growing our team, and planning our next Giving Trip. I better sleep now, because come October it’s going to be madness.
How can we get involved? Do you have campus reps?
First, you can help spread the word! Shout us out to everyone you know — the more people know about us, the more people buy our bars, and the more life-saving food we can send to kids in need. And, if you’re interested in getting our bars for an event, want to join our community as a campus rep, intern, team member, or even if you just want to say hi, you can reach out to us here.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have?
- A big stash of This Bar Saves Lives
- A few good books (I love the writings of John Muir)
- My wife and son
Describe yourself in one word.
How would your best friends describe you?
Funny, loyal, busy
What is your favorite thing to eat?
You know the answer to that
What do you do for fun?
Rock climb. It’s a great way to exercise, meditate, and connect with nature all in one. I’d be lost if I didn’t kiss a mountain on the reg.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Too many to share, but I think a good general one is, ‘Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.’ – John Muir.