Director of Nelson Farms Dave Evans, left, and Amanda Hewitt, right, product development manager, pose with Cazenovia resident and entrepreneur, Bob Rose, at Nelson Farms.
After a frigid day of ice climbing, Cazenovia resident Bob Rose decided to venture into his kitchen and experiment with creating an edible performance energy product that enhances circulation to combat the cold.
The avid outdoorsman first researched spices that warm the body, then bought and cooked them up into different recipes.
When numerous trials started to produce desired results, Rose reached out for help to fine tune his recipe and move into the production phase.
He turned to Nelson Farms — a local agri-business incubator and food processing facility operated by Morrisville State College, which helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into marketable products. Rose signed on to become a client and was soon working alongside Amanda Hewitt, product development manager.
In October, Rose’s high-energy bar packed with organic grains, nutrients, anti-oxidants, omega acids and spices hit the shelves at 68 Eastern Mountain Sports stores throughout the country.
He’s heating up the shelves locally too, selling Thermal Bar at the Nelson Farms Country Store, at Buyea’s True Value Hardware on Albany Street in Cazenovia, and in the snack bar at Highland Forest County Park in Fabius. They are also available through the Thermal Bar website thermalbar.com.
Becoming a business owner wasn’t in the plan for Rose who grew up in Syracuse and after college, pursued a career as an engineer. He joined the National Guard in 1968 and become a pilot flying fighter jets, then later piloted planes for Delta Airlines, before officially retiring in 2007.
But sitting idle has never been in the cards for the 65-year-old adventurer who’s still getting used to his role running a business.
“We were working on three things at once: the flavor, warming effect, and making it something that would work with our equipment,” said Hewitt, who’s been a part of the facility that’s helped nearly 600 businesses bring more than 400 products to market.