Daniel Dengrove & Rebecca Dengrove

Brewla Bars

When engineer Daniel Dengrove took a bite out of a mass-produced ice cream bar in 2007, he realized he had a great idea for a business. “It tasted so artificial,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘Why couldn’t we make a better ice pop?’” And that’s how Brewla Bars began. Working with his sister Rebecca, a food scientist, the two sought to create frozen snacks, with health benefits, for grown-ups. With brewed beverages as their medium, the pair originally focused on creating iced treats from tea, but the flavors soon expanded to include espresso, root beer and others. Rebecca and Daniel began by selling pops at local markets in New York City, but faced with rapidly growing demand, began to look at expanding into retail stores.

In 2012, they turned to the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Program and quickly received a $10,000 program loan through Accion to finance packaging suitable for retail stores. In December 2013, the siblings competed in and won the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition. As the national winners selected from a pool of more than 100 small business applicants from across the country, Daniel and Rebecca received a $10,000 business grant, a year of extended coaching from Samuel Adams employees including a series of one-on-one conversations with Samuel Adams founder and Brewer, Jim Koch. And to sweeten the deal a little more, Samuel Adams and Brewla collaborated on a limited-edition frozen “Hops Pop” made from the same ingredients found in Samuel Adams Boston LagerNow sold in over 120 outlets nationwide, the siblings are looking to expand even further.

As a result of late 2014 buyer meetings, the Brewla team  expects product to be on shelf in 1,200-1,500 stores in early 2015. They have positioned themselves to grow over 32% and their total gross sales have increased an average of 48% month-over-month since June 2014. They have put a professional sales team in place and have also increased their distribution capability. Additionally, Brewla won an Award of Excellence from the American Masters of Taste and was a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards.
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