Kate and Bryan Flynn have their eyes set on redefining the packaged snack food industry here in Santa Barbara. With Swell Foods, they’ve created a signature product that is not only delicious but also passes as a clean, whole food. Made from five or fewer ingredients, all their Swell bites start from a simple base of dates and cashews, with no preservatives, only organic ingredients, and nothing processed. “We want to make healthy eating as easy for people as possible and take out any questions. That’s what our product does; you look at our ingredients and don’t have to Google if they are safe to eat them or what they are,” Kate stated.
The idea for Swell Foods came about two years ago when the couple decided to revamp their diet, only to discover that it was almost impossible to find a packaged snack that didn’t have artificial or processed ingredients. After participating in their first marathon, they got creative in making their own fuel — inspiring them to launch Swell Foods online in October 2016. It quickly took off and allowed first-time entrepreneur Kate to start stocking the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores throughout Santa Barbara. Their products are now in more than 35 locations, spanning Ojai to Ventura, with new accounts popping up weekly.
Kate credits the communities’ support of local businesses as the ideal market for their bites and feels fortunate that everyone has been generous in sharing their knowledge and offering help in myriad ways. After she and Bryan had established careers in the Bay Area, they’re glad to be back in Santa Barbara, where both attended school and got married.
Kate wasn’t sure where to go after leaving her job, but she knew it hadn’t been her passion. A longtime health and wellness enthusiast, Kate never realized she could make a career out of that interest — until now. For Kate, Swell Foods reflects her interests and values from the product and the mission statement to the locations they choose to sell at. Down the line, Kate says expansion is definitely in the cards, but right now the goal is to build on what they’ve created in Santa Barbara and make sure their product resonates with their community and clients.
By Courtesy Photo