Ivan Pelly and his wife, creators of the ivan.bar

Three years ago, Santa Barbara software engineer Ivan Pelly set out to create his own nutrition bar. He had three priorities: make it tasty, filling, and healthy. 

“The catalyst for me was I had bought a box of tiny little snack bars from Trader Joe’s,” said Pelly, explaining that the box came with five bars. “I felt terrible that I ate them all in one sitting. I was still hungry, and I had wasted all of this packaging. Then I thought, ‘Screw it, I’m gonna do my own thing.’”

After researching ingredients until he found a solid recipe, Pelly’s personal endeavor soon turned commercial when he realized others really liked his bars too. The ivan.bar was born, and it’s become a true family effort with help from his wife, Polly Pelly, and two sons, Oliver and Ashton. Oliver, a 19-year-old business student at Loyola Marymount University, helps with the website and online marketing. Ashton, a 16-year-old Bishop Garcia Diego High School student, helps with cooking and deliveries. 

In early 2019, the Pelly family released their first flavor, macadamia nut. The bar is chewy, unique, and slightly sweet. A second flavor is in the works. 

“I try a lot of different bars to see what’s good and what isn’t,” explained Pelly. “Most of them have the lowest common denominator of sugar, so they just appeal to everyone. They’re sweet, and usually too sweet. So these are sweet without being too sweet. They have a flavor that isn’t just sugar.”

The Pelly family is also focused on finding ways to make a social impact. “We’re researching avenues to incorporate more charitable aspects to the business,” said Pelly. “So that’s a strong desire, to have a moral compass as well as a culinary one.”

4•1•1 | Visit ivan.bar to see the more than 100 purchase locations or place an order online. Shipping is free in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Montecito.


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