BY JANET MANDELSTAM
Alex Crowley was tired of seeing unhealthy snack options at his children’s athletic events, for sale at performance venues, and in vending machines. “While I love a Snickers bar from time to time as much as the next guy,” he says, “the problem is that candy bars, junk chips, and sodas tend to dominate the options.” He wondered if there was a way to replace those unhealthy products with better choices.
He’s about to test the following hypothesis: If organizations in Bloomington, such as schools and offices, were offered healthful snacks and beverages that they could purchase at reasonable prices, they would choose the healthier options over candy, chips, and soda.
To that end, Crowley has founded Good to Go! Healthy, a company that can congregate and provide healthful beverages, packaged foods, and produce “from recognizable national and local brands.” Crowley says all the offerings will meet the American Heart Association food and drink standards for calories, fat, sugar, and fiber content.
He is aiming to distribute his products to athletic organizations, hospitals, museums, schools, and corporations that make snacks available for their employees, either free or for sale.
The plan will roll out in a three-phase soft launch, he says. “In phase one, we’ll work out the wrinkles with a handful of customers in a pilot program.” The second phase in mid-summer will have a larger base of customers, “but still be a little under the radar.” If all goes well, he says, phase three will kick off in the fall and will be a more aggressive introduction to the market.
Healthy snacks are generally more expensive because, Crowley says, “the industrial food complex has priced … ingredients in such a way that the manufacture of unhealthy snacks is cheaper.” But Crowley is managing to reduce some costs by teaming up with Bloomingfoods Market & Deli.
“Bloomingfoods already has a wholesale relationship with product manufacturers; my order will become part of theirs.” The co-op also will provide warehouse facilities.
Crowley, a business consultant with a background in advertising and marketing, composed the score for the children’s musical The Birthday Feast about making healthy food choices.
Despite his interest in food, Crowley insists he is not a foodie. “I just want to provide things I know have nutritional value and taste good.”
For more information, visit goodtogohealthy.com.