Miami Philanthropist Builds a Better Protein Bar
Halle Berry recently shared a few of her favorite fitness tips with Shape magazine, telling its readers Truwomen Plant Fueled Protein Bars are her go-to keto snacks. The Academy Award-winner’s favorite flavor is Salted Macadamia Nut Butter and anyone trying to fit into a red carpet gown – or anything else Berry might wear – can see these bars are low-carb and have zero sugar alcohols. But what’s less obvious is the line of now eight flavors was co-founded by Miami philanthropist Erica Groussman with her colleague in Boulder, Stephanie Pyatt.
“The response has been amazing,” says Groussman. “
It’s true, a movie star shout out is serious attention for a company Groussman and Pyatt launched just two years ago. It was only a year after launching the bars landed in retail stores. Today, they’re carried by over 600 merchants – from fitness studios to supermarkets to retail powerhouses such as Amazon.com. Outside the U.S., they’re available in the United Kingdom and Canada.
“I want to be everywhere,” says Groussman, a mother of two. “I want to scale larger and be in more countries.”
Groussman and her partner set out to start Truwomen after both working at MusclePharm – they owned a portion of the company – and weren’t proud of the product.
“We couldn’t eat it,” she remembers. “It was full of products you couldn’t pronounce.”
They set out and began exploring with doctors to create a gluten free, dairy free, soy free bar for women. It had to be vegan and couldn’t contain sugar alcohols, which are bloating. The ingredients would be clean and the flavors would recreate iconic desserts delivered in under 200 calories and just 8 grams of sugar.
When they perfected the recipe – starting with flavors such as I Scream for Orange Ice Cream and Daydreaming About Donuts – Groussman began taking the product to small yoga studies and grocery stores. She let the proprietors take a taste before leaving 12 bars behind.
“I’d say, ‘You make the money and I’ll come back,’” remembers Groussman,“A lot of them wound up calling me before I came back.”
The company is as philanthropic as the Miami Beach JCC’s Groussman, who’s also involved in After-School All-Stars, JAFCO and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. The bars were ever-present at the ICU Babies event, also the Museum of Glass as it honored. Not to mention, the product is packaged by women who are undergoing rehabilitation.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.