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Nelson Farms of Morrisville State College helps avid outdoor sportsman develop thermal bar to combat cold

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—You’ve heard about performance bars that give you energy and boost endurance. How about one that’ll keep you warm too?

Introducing the Thermal Bar—an edible performance energy product that enhances circulation to combat the cold. It’s the mastermind of Cazenovia resident Bob Rose, an avid outdoorsman who came up with the idea to help him stay warm while enjoying his favorite activities.

After a frigid day of ice climbing, Rose decided to take his venture into his own kitchen to experiment. He first researched spices that warm the body, then bought and cooked them up into different recipes.

When numerous trials started to produce desired results, Rose reached out for help to fine tune his recipe and move Thermal Bar into the production phase.

He turned to Nelson Farms—a unique entrepreneurial agri-business incubator and food processing facility, operated by Morrisville State College, that helps budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into marketable products.

He signed on to become a client and was soon working alongside Amanda Hewitt, product development manager.

In October, Rose’s high-energy bar packed with organic grains, nutrients, anti-oxidants, omega acids and spices hit the shelves at 68 Eastern Mountain Sports stores throughout the country.

He’s heating up the shelves locally too, selling Thermal Bar at the Nelson Farms Country Store, at Buyea’s True Value Hardware on Albany Street in Cazenovia, and in the snack bar at Highland Forest County Park in Fabius. They are also available through the Thermal Bar website www.thermalbar.com.

Becoming a business owner wasn’t in the plan for Rose who grew up in Syracuse and after college, pursued a career as an engineer. He joined the National Guard in 1968 and become a pilot flying fighter jets, then later piloted planes for Delta Airlines, before officially retiring in 2007.

But sitting idle has never been in the cards for the 65-year-old adventurer who’s still getting used to his role running a business.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Rose said. “I’m an inventor and a dreamer and I had this idea (Thermal Bar) that I couldn’t ever give up.”

There were others who shared his tenacity. Among them, Nelson Farms, who he credits with taking his “out of the box” idea under its wing and working with him so it could take flight.

“You would not see my product on the shelves if it wasn’t for Nelson Farms,” Rose said. “Not once did anyone say it wasn’t possible or that I couldn’t do it. They jumped into the project with nothing but support and 100 percent encouragement all of the way.”

“We were working on three things at once: the flavor, warming effect, and making it something that would work with our equipment,” said Hewitt who’s been a part of the facility that’s helped nearly 600 businesses bring more than 400 products to market.

Hewitt, a graduate of Morrisville State College’s dietetic technician program, helped Rose tweak the recipe, working on scientific formulas and the taste. Additional staff at Nelson Farms also provided assistance along the way.

That support never waned even when Rose’s product exceeded Nelson Farms’ equipment capacity.

“We are very proud to assist our clients from the very start to finish to where they are able to get their products produced, packaged and into the marketplace and onto the store shelves,” Dave Evans, director of Nelson Farms, said. “But in this case, to meet these challenges to produce and package this very unique and unusual product, we did not have the exact equipment and therefore could not “fine tune” the product totally for sale. So we recommended a person who could possibly get this accomplished.”

That person was food chemist Dr. Danny Chawan of Srim Enterprises LLC, who further advanced the formulation of Thermal Bar.

“We are very proud to have been instrumental in getting Bob started from the beginning and to be able to work and support him through these years to see his Thermal Bar become such a success,” Evans said.

Word is out about the 230-calorie bar, a mix of carbs, anti-oxidants, omegas and protein that also contains Thermal Blend ™, a special mix of healthy spices, including grains, soy protein, nuts and oats.

“The effect of our warming spices is the breakthrough element and the basis for our unique performance,” said Rose who consumes a bar whenever he’s ice climbing, ski mountaineering, fishing, or involved in an outside activity.

But outdoor sports enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the bar wrapped in vibrant red and orange packaging designed by Rose’s brother, Don Rose. It’s for anyone who spends a lot of time outside in the cold: construction workers, landscapers, EMTs, hunters, sports fans and anglers.

Rose’s plans for Thermal Bar are heating up and include adding more flavors to his apple cinnamon line and marketing it as product that’s nutritionally beneficial year-round.

Nelson Farms, operated by Morrisville State College, is a unique combination of a business incubator, food product processing facility and hands-on academic classroom. Structured as an LLC of the Morrisville Auxiliary Corporation (MAC), Nelson Farms assists entrepreneurs including Morrisville students and existing private firms with product development, small-scale food processing, marketing and sales and distribution, and is also a Pride of New York distributor for the entire state.

Nelson Farms is located between Cazenovia and Morrisville in the village of Nelson on Route 20 and the corner of Nelson Road.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.