BELLINGHAM - It's been a good run for Mary Goit's Belly Timber Bars, but now she's ready to try something new.
After nearly 10 years in business, Goit has decided to stop manufacturing her energy bars at the end of April. The bars, known for being nutrient dense and made with local ingredients, will be available in stores such as Terra Organica and the Community Food Co-op for the next few months, possibly into July.
Goit said rising costs for ingredients and lower sales volume were factors in her decision to close, but she also said that it's just the right time.
"On the one hand, it's bittersweet, but it's been a great run," Goit said. "I have a resounding deep gratitude for the local support I've received over the years."
The company started as Goit House Natural Foods in 2004, specializing in granola. She said she wanted to make an energy bar that would fill her up. At its peak, the company was making about 7,000 bars a week, packed and labeled by hand.
"It just wasn't in me to have this in a large factory setting," said Goit, who operated in a facility near her home with several employees.
Along with local stores, Belly Timber Bars landed in national retailers including REI and Nordstrom.
The company produces a variety of flavors and became popular with hard-core athletes as well as hunters, hikers and fishermen who wanted to pack something that would sustain them in the outdoors. It was the type of product ingredient-readers would buy into, Goit said.
Goit said she's not sure what her career plans are but will look for something else she can be passionate about.
"In some ways I feel like I've graduated from college, with a 'now what?' feeling," Goit said. "This (making the Belly Timber Bars) has always been great, and I've loved the people I've worked with."