Interview With Chris Cage of Greenbelly Meals
We love hearing about how backcountry brands get their start. Today we sit down with Chris Cage, the founder of Greenbelly Meals. Greenbelly makes killer meal bars which were featured in our Best Backpacking Food of 2019 journal article.
What year did the company start? I started working on the idea in 2014 and officially launched with a Kickstarter in 2015.
Where is the company located? All over the place. Our team is pretty remote. I travel all over the globe most of the time. Thailand, Spain, Indonesia, Guatemala and Chattanooga, TN have been recent spots. That being said, we are headquartered in Atlanta, GA.
How many people work for the company? That's kind of complicated with full time and part time. About a dozen people are on our payroll though.
Founder Chris Cage at the end of the Appalachian Trail
Tell us a little bit of the story behind how the company started. I was bicycle touring New Zealand for 3 months and then thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail for 6 months. On both of these trips, I was burning an alarming amount of calories. My meal options were limited - getting large amounts of clean nutrition in a lightweight and shelf stable format was difficult. I started pursuing a kind of 'ultimate meal' idea in my mom's kitchen a few months after.
What sets your products apart from other brands? We're the most convenient real adventure meal. Not to mention we taste pretty good :)
What is the most difficult thing you have encountered so far in starting and growing your business? Keeping my head up in the early days. I lived at home that first year developing the product, making the product, fulfilling orders, managing the site, customer service, bookkeeping, design and marketing, etc. It was tough not knowing if all of that work would pay off or not.
What can we expect from you Greenbelly Meals in the future? More good flavors, more good products!