Created as an alternative to chocolate chip cookies, Backcountry Bars grace the shelves of 200-plus stores.
Bakers, from left: Kris and Karie Boesiger.
All-natural treat uses Northwest ingredients
By Melissa Davlin
Photos by Matt Leitholt
Kris and Karie Boesiger didn’t set out to make a living off cookies.
The Boise-based mother-in-law/daughter-in-law team started their business selling Mom’s Specialty Mustard at farmers markets in 2001. A few years later, they added cookies to the product line.
Those cookies turned into Backcountry Bars, an oat-based treat made without wheat, high-fructose corn syrup or soy.
By the time the Boesigers began making Backcountry Bars, they had already been making their mustard at the University of Idaho Food Technology Center for several years. Their established relationship and experience helped them get their new product to market faster.
Over the years, the pair tweaked the bar’s size to make it one serving. The Boesigers later started selling gluten-free bars, which use the same recipe as the regular bars but are made with gluten-free oats. The business is dedicated to buying Idaho and Northwest ingredients—the honey and sugar come from Idaho, the fruit comes from Washington and the oats come from Wyoming or Oregon.
You can find the bars in dozens of retail locations throughout Idaho and the Northwest, including WinCo Foods, the UI VandalStore in Moscow and the Boise Co-Op.
Soon, the Boesigers hope to offer another way to get your cookie fix. They’re looking to expand their enterprise by selling raw cookie dough through fundraisers.
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