Ryan and Kate Harvey, the founders of Bare Bones Broth Co., premium packaged meat-based bone broth, have some big changes cooking for their company. After moving their artisanal bone broth business from San Diego to Medford, Oregon a year ago and co-authoring a broth cookbook earlier this year, the couple now is finalizing negotiations with a Midwest company to cook up their broth.
With a growing consumer demand for healthy packaged broths that provide convenience as well as respect for the ingredient sources, it’s no surprise the Harvey’s have reached a production threshold. “We have struggled all along with the capacity – we have never been able to keep up with demand by doing everything ourselves,” says Ryan. “It took us a couple of years to find someone who could do what we do—with no fillers, no pastes and no powders…Now, what we can make in one month, they will be able make in one day.”
The transition from a small business employing six people and using largely local sources to working with a contractor in another state, which will source ingredients from all over the country, does not come without some growing pains.
“Any time we take the next big step it is scary,” Ryan admits. “When we came to Medford from San Diego, it was scary, and now this step is scary, but this is what is necessary for us to grow.” It also means a realization of their dream to bring a nutritious product to as many people as possible.
Founded as an e-commerce business in 2104 and with the bulk of its current sales in New York City, Florida and Southern California, Bare Bones broths are now available in several local stores, including the Ashland Food Co-op, Shop ‘n Kart in Ashland and Market of Choice stores in Eugene, Salem and Beaverton.
Ryan says that in five years he hopes Bare Bones broths will be on shelves of health food stores across the country. Bare Bones products use meat bones from pastured animals with diets free of antibiotics, hormones and grains. The broths, which are made with organic vegetables, herbs and filtered water, are free of gluten, dairy, soy, salt, MSG, preservatives, added flavorings and added colorings.
“Our biggest challenge as the business grows is figuring out the distribution piece,” says Kate. “This (new change) is like launching a whole new business for us.” As the broth making moves to Iowa, Ryan and Kate will transition from the hands-on end of the business to the marketing and sales. Their long days of packing and shipping clothed in winter jackets inside a Medford, Oregon cold storage facility will become a thing of the past.
Ryan and Kate, who both have roots in Southern California, are undecided about whether they will remain in Southern Oregon after the transfer of production is complete. Ryan says that new Bare Bones products will depend on how the bone broth trend continues to fare. “Right now, ready-to-drink soups and broths are really growing all over the world,” he comments, adding that future Bare Bones products may include savory soups and sauces.
You can stay updated on the bone broth trends, recipes and more on their Facebook page.
Top image: courtesy The Local Dish; All others: courtesy Bare Bones Facebook.