Arron Barnes is passionate about learning. When he wanted to expand his knowledge on entrepreneurship, he made an effort to read books and listen to audio books by business experts. And he attended workshops given by Veteran’s Business Outreach Center. When he was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) during his stint in the Military, he searched for home remedies that would relieve him of stomach pains. He found out that juicing vegetables and fruits would help, so he tried it for himself and made green juice. Knowing that this commodity is a need for a lot of people, he began marketing it around his neighborhood and saw that it was received well. This prompted him to start up Absolutely Juicy, his first business from four years ago.
Two years into drinking (and selling) green juice, he felt very healthy and fit, so eating plenty of sweets did not seem like a bad idea. But after a few months, his stomach started burning. He wanted to know what kind of sickness he had; he Googled his symptoms, and discovered that he had Candida. With this condition, he needed to avoid certain foods and follow a strict diet to treat it. He said, “I ate vegetables, dried nuts, chicken and turkey, and then I started buying almond butter and dumped other ingredients.” In doing so, he ended up making an almond butter mixture which is nutritious and delicious—good for anyone. To test its marketability, he included a sample cup of almond butter with the Absolutely Juicy green juice he had been selling. His customers took to it and wanted more. It was then that he decided to create Life Butta and focus on this business, as almond butter has longer shelf life than green juice, it can be shipped and is less labor intensive.
Life Butta officially launched July of last year, and it has definitely been growing because Arron consistently puts in work to develop it. He persistently promotes his product to potential customers through word-of-mouth and social media. Arron joins events that allow him to boost his company’s reach, earn funding and network with other entrepreneurs and business connoisseurs. He participated in Business Impact NW’s IMPACT Pitch Competition last November and won the Minority Award worth $2,000. This year he will be attending a conference at Florida where he will also present his business in front of a panel with the hope to receive funding.
Right now his product can be bought in four locations: 2 Chuck’s Produce stores in Vancouver, WA; 1 New Seasons Market in Vancouver, WA; 1 Lamb’s Market in Lake Oswego, OR. It will be in three additional stores end of January: 2 Green Zebra Grocery stores in Portland, OR and New Seasons Market at 7 Corners in Portland, OR. Arron is already achieving great feats in his business, and it has only begun. He dreams to dominate the almond butter market in the West Coast in three to five years.
Little by little, he is helping people lead a healthier life with his almond butter, and we are all for it. He was apt in learning how to treat his Candida and experiment on a product he was well-aware people would love.