Healthy snack company Pure Bliss Organics, run by owners and co-founders Jaya Govardhana Das and Haridas Thakur Das since 2005, had been selling its granola, energy bars and gourmet nut mixes to hundreds of stores all over the U.S., both as packaged products and as bulk foods.
When Covid hit in early 2020, however, many stores shut down their bulk departments, and hotels and schools – who had also been clients of the company – stopped ordering snacks. Within a month, Pure Bliss Organics’ sales dropped 40%. “Without Krishna’s intervention, we would have been a goner,” Jaya Govardhana says.
But with PPP loans from the government, and a new venture making products for other health snack companies, Pure Bliss Organics has gone from hard times to a 75% increase on pre-pandemic sales numbers. Now, they plan to expand as well as to hire eight new devotee staff.
The company creates all its products at a 5,200-square-foot kitchen/warehouse in Marietta, a suburb of Atlanta. “We weren’t utilizing all that space and capacity, even before Covid,” Jaya Govardhana says. “Once Covid hit, we shifted gears, and started looking at the potential of making other people’s products, such as granola, energy bars and keto snack bites for them. Because there are a lot of people who have ideas for products and are into marketing and selling them, but don't have the infrastructure or inclination to make the product.”
The move was a hit. Pure Bliss Organics now works with four other companies, helping them tweak their products, ready them for market, and produce them. “We’ve even created a few products for companies too,” explains Jaya Govardhana. “They’ll say, ‘Hey, this is the type of bar we make, can you come up with a good-tasting bar with these ingredients in it?’ And we do.”
Pure Bliss is also continuing to make its own products, and to innovate: Jaya Govardhana, Haridas Thakur, and Krishna Sneha Dasi, who makes bars for the company, have started a new line of Ayurvedic herb bars.
“This could be a huge thing for our company,” says Jaya Govardhana. “Maharishi Ayurveda are one of the most prominent Ayurvedic websites in the United States, (mapi.com) and they’re ordering our products and have dedicated a whole page on their site to us.”
So far, Pure Bliss Organics has created a “rejuvenation” turmeric, lemon and orange Ayurvedic herb bar, and a “relaxation” bar with carob, fig, and hazelnut. The company also plans to create a series of three dosha bars using ingredients that balance the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas – different types of makeup a person can have according to Ayurveda.
In the future, Pure Bliss may also make its own Ayurvedic granolas and smoothie mixes, giving the company a “close to home” niche in a crowded and competitive market.
In the meantime, the team continues to make granola, energy bars and gourmet nut mixes, with about ten to twelve products in each category. These include a “no sugar buzz” granola with flavors like cashew cranberry; a paleo-friendly, grain-free granola with flavors like carrot cake and acai banana; bars like the acai coconut cashew butter or blueberry almond butter; organic snack bites like almond pumpkin; and nut mixes like habanero cashe or maple cinnamon mixed nut.
These snacks are stocked by nearly 500 stores throughout the US, including fifty Whole Foods Stores in the South, which carry nineteen Pure Bliss products.
What’s unique about Pure Bliss Organics is that every batch of product made is offered to home Gaura Nitai Deities by Chitrabirya Das, a pujari at the ISKCON Atlanta temple. A high standard of cleanliness is kept in the kitchen, and no food is tasted before it is offered. Meanwhile, the company donates a percentage of its profits to Food For Life, which distributes prasadam to the needy around the world.
Pure Bliss has also begun to express its co-founders’ values more, through a new “heart and hands” logo that “expresses more spirituality and connection,” and messaging on the website that reveals more about their background as bhakti-yogis and their desire to help people and the Earth.
In addition, “Thoughts for Blissful Living” shared on the Pure Bliss Organics Instagram page include quotes from Srila Prabhupada and the Bhagavad-gita, and Jaya Govardhana plans to start a blog on the same themes.
Looking to the future, Pure Bliss hopes to continue expanding in a competitive market through making products for other companies, its own niche items like no sugar buzz granola, and its new Ayurvedic offerings.
“I see us growing a lot in the next few years, probably tripling or quadrupling what we're doing now,” Jaya Govardhana says. “And we’re going to need to triple our staff to do that, or at least add twenty-five to thirty people within the next three or four years. So I want to cultivate devotees to make careers out of this. Because I'm 61, and my business partner is 56. In the next 10 to 15 years, we're going to need to walk away from the business, or at least have a CEO and some upper management. So we'd love to cultivate devotees to do that.”
Currently, Pure Bliss Organics is looking to hire devotees in up to eight new kitchen, office and sales positions; candidates will need to be able to relocate to the Atlanta, Georgia area.
“We have a really nice devotee staff here – the founders have been working together for almost 16 years, and three others have been here for 11 years,” Jaya Govardhana says. “So it’s very nice devotee association.”
For more information on applying for a position with Pure Bliss Organics, please write to Jaya Govardhana Das at firstname.lastname@example.org
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