The Vör Story
My name is Franklin Steck, and I am the founder president of Vör and creator of the Vör dark chocolate butter cup! My team and I all share a love of health, wholesome foods, and fitness and hope that we can help change the world by creating a significantly more nutritious alternative to modern candies and chocolate.
I am personally dedicated to a lifestyle of health and fitness, as a former gym owner. Contributing to other's health success is a huge part of my life and what motivates me. This is a theme that manifests in all parts of my work, all current and future ventures.
As for the story of Vör...
How it began
Chocolate has always been special to me. I remember back in the day when I first became an addict. I had just started driving and only had an ATM card at the time, so I had to pull out cash regularly to pay for anything. This meant there was lots of change that went into my - until then unused - cigarette tray in the car, which consequently became the chocolate fund. Scraping together $2.69 in exact change for the finest dark chocolate bar Wal-Mart offered was a weekly ritual.
The best part of the chocolate experience was sitting and sharing with a friend. We talked about school (I was Junior in high school, and about 16 years old), about life, about the ladies, and our ideas for the world. We were an entrepreneurial bunch, my friends and I, and quickly we theorized we could achieve an unlimited supply of chocolate if we could turn our passion into a business.
Fast forward to winter 2013, where we began experimenting with making our own chocolate. Eventually we realized we wanted to try something different. Something that wasn't being done yet, and also something that tied into our lifestyles. Lifestyles that centered around a deep passion for whole and natural foods, fitness, and an overall active lifestyle.
Around that same time, I was devouring jars of almond butter after workouts. Strange looks from my family while I dug deeply into the jars with my spoon and ate globs of the stuff was not uncommon. This went on for some time, in addition to trial and error with our chocolate making endeavors.
Then it hit me. Where are the ALMOND-butter cups? It's either peanut, peanut, or "oh yeah here's another brand" of peanut butter cups on the shelves.
So testing began. Hours in Dad's kitchen, formulating the perfect recipe. After eating our weight many times over in test batches, we concluded with a recipe that we were finally happy with. We were ready to take it to someone besides ourselves and my poor stepmom who we volunteered into taste testing everything. The dark chocolate almond butter cup was born.
We put a batch of about 60 cups together and brought them to my gym of the time where we put them up for sale before class started. It took about 10 minutes until we had sold everything. Now I wasn't sure if people were just humoring the young kids trying to sell chocolate, or if they actually liked our cups. So we repeated this ordeal the next day, and the day after that. People actually started buying anywhere from 5 to 10 packs at a time so they could stock up. They knew that they may have to wait a little while for the next batch, as I essentially went into entrepreneur mode and forgot I still needed to pass my mid-terms to graduate high-school, and needed to catch up on school.
From here we ramped up production and began attending many of the local fitness events, continuing to spread the word of our cups. Around the same time we were spreading, my then business partner of the time left to focus more on school and his other job. This was a huge blow to the momentum of the project and I had a difficult time adjusting to the challenges of manufacturing solo. It was around this time I considered just dropping the whole project and refocusing back on my studies and future career paths. Definitely a major momentum and confidence blow. It didn't stop me though. I was determined to make it work.
Fortunately, a major development happened when I was introduced to Arnold of Arnold's Way - an amazing little local raw vegan cafe. I brought a few packs for him, which he devoured. "I'll take 2 cases" was the next thing I heard and I got right to work. This was the first official store now selling our cups and I was beyond ecstatic. Seeing my "baby" of a product in an official setting was a powerful moment.