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Making the case for healthy eating, one health bar at a time

Marjan Zaun: Making the case for healthy eating

Lakewood Ranch woman has ambitious plans for Flexx Bar and Snack Company.
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Lakewood Ranch woman has ambitious plans for Flexx Bar and Snack Company.

Since buying Flexx Bar and Snack Company in March, a company that traditionally sold its products through farmers markets, Lakewood Ranch resident Marjan Zaun has taken a quantum leap with its marketing.

Along with a fresh infusion of energy and a name change from P & J Nuts, Zaun has launched an all-out social media campaign with a new website as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Her goal: Make the company a household name and earn space in the refrigerated section of supermarkets.

The company was founded in Punta Gorda, where Flexx Bar and Snack Company still has its commercial kitchen.

Zaun would like to find a commercial kitchen location in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, where she can work closer to home, tweak her recipes and introduce new products.

“We hand-make everything. It’s myself and the baker. We don’t sub anything out,” Zaun said. “It has been a passion of mine to show people you don’t have to eat preservatives. It’s whole food.”

The product line includes paleo bars, vegan bars, nutritional bars and protein bars, as well as nuts, edible seeds, granola, gluten-free products, dried fruit and more.

My goal has always been to bring awareness to the consumer about eating healthy and staying away from processed food.

Marjan Zaun, the owner FlexX Bar and Snack Company

“My goal has always been to bring awareness to the consumer about eating healthy and staying away from processed food,” she said.

In addition to expanding her base through social media, Zaun also takes a hands-on approach, including selling her products at the Sarasota Farmers Market, going into Little League dugouts and offering samples of her nutrition bars, and meeting with the Bradenton Marauders organization.

Through the Marauders, she was put in touch with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who hold spring training in Bradenton and have started placing orders with Flexx Bar and Snack Company.

Other new clients include White Picket Produce of Sarasota, Hydr8-IV Hydration Centers in Sarasota, D’Lites Shoppe in Lakewood Ranch and Chill Organics located inside LA Fitness on Bee Ridge Road.

“It’s one of the best-tasting organic bars,” said Fernando Vega of Hydr8, which provides medical IV treatment to patients who would prefer not to go to an emergency room or urgent care. “I suffer from diabetes and it’s hard to find good-tasting flex bars that I don’t feel guilty eating. Our patients have heard about it and they love it.”

Zaun, a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, started her professional working life as a respiratory therapist before moving into home health care and selling medical devices, such as oxygen supplies, or CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure therapy machines to help those with sleep apnea.

She is also a physical trainer and fitness competitor.

Through her background, Zaun came to understand how nutrition affects the body and how a person can help manage their fitness and well being.

Zaun’s husband, Ed, supported her in becoming a business owner, knowing it would be a good opportunity with her nutritional background.

Check the company website at flexxbarcompany.com for a full listing of products.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1

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