Entrepreneurs Rachel and Jake Beaudry create a one-of-a-kind protein bar and give back to nonprofits.
By Hannah Hunhoff
Pulling silver mixing bowls off her kitchen counter, Rachel Beaudry measures out portions of pea protein, ground flaxseed and Himalayan pink sea salt at her office space in Rogers, Minnesota. After adding a host of other natural and organic ingredients, Rachel pours the mix onto a commercial cookie sheet to be refrigerated for three hours before being shipped to fitness centers all over the Twin Cities.
In 2014, Bethel University alumni and co-founders of Rawr Organics Rachel and Jake Beaudry spent their days at their financial jobs and pursuing their passions for fitness and wellness. As a bodybuilder, Rachel received a sponsorship from a protein bar brand but began to experience serious effects from its consumption, such as bloating, weight gain and headaches. These side effects, along with Jake’s development of insulin resistance and hypoglycemia, led them on an endless pursuit for a “high protein, low sugar and clean” protein bar.
Rachel and Jake took matters into their own hands at the end of 2014 and made the first batch of Rawr Bars in their kitchen. Replacing the highly processed fiber and other concerning ingredients found in protein bars that occupied the shelves of their grocery store, they mixed three simple ingredients together to create a prototype version of the bar. Finally, they found a recipe that satisfied their health needs and tasted good, but couldn’t decide if the bar was just a fun idea or a “God idea.”
Despite the lightbulb moment of their food idea, the couple was busy pursuing successful careers in corporate America – Rachel worked at a mutual fund company and Jake as a financial adviser.
Rachel graduated from Bethel in May 2009 and Jake shortly after in December 2009. The pair reconnected nearly six years after their graduation from Bethel, started a youth ministry in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul and eventually got married. They shared a dream of becoming missionaries in Africa one day. Even as a child, Jacob had a picture of German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who was known to preach the Gospel all across Africa, in his childhood bedroom.
“We thought we had God’s plan for life figured out … we’re going to be financial advisors, have our own practice, have a bunch of kids and 10 years from now we’ll start going to Africa,” Rachel said.
The couple never imagined how their missionary dreams and creation of the Rawr Bars would collide.
In 2015, still waiting for God to confirm her entrepreneurship calling, Rachel attended “Women on the Frontlines,” a Christian conference. The speaker, Patricia King, heard a word from the Lord about creative food and asked if anyone who possessed that idea could stand up.
Rachel’s in-laws sat behind her and pointed in her direction. Her heart began to race.
“The speaker [Patrica King] said ‘I think these words are for you’ and I stood up and felt complete peace, ” Rachel said. “I literally felt the warmth of God’s presence. I was like, ‘This is God speaking through her.’”
After the conference, Rachel and Jake became unsatisfied in their corporate positions and began to press into their desire to move thousands of miles away to Africa.
“I wasn’t getting the same fulfillment out of what I was doing, and started to get burnt out from it too,” Jake said. “I knew God was shifting something in my heart.”
One night in January 2017, Rachel and Jake had just gotten home from another trip and were struggling to fall asleep. For months, they had been spending time in prayer and seeking God’s counsel about his prompting to launch their small business and go into missions.
Jake felt God placed Mozambique on his heart, receiving clear confirmation after months of waiting and praying.
“I felt God’s heart, turned the lights on and I started to pray,” Rachel said. “We’re like, ‘God, what are you speaking about Africa?’ I felt like he was saying ‘sooner than you know.’”
Six months later, the couple laid down their financial careers, moved out of their loft and left their family back in the states. The next season would be “foundational” for starting their business.
“We laid it all down and went, there was so much joy in it, and excitement,” Rachel said. “It never felt like a burden or felt like we were letting go of something that we wanted to cling to.”
From October to December 2017, the couple traveled to Mozambique to serve with Iris Global’s “Stop for the One,” a program that invests in children’s lives in Africa.
While Rachel and Jake were staying near a village, they were often sent to a place that was referred to as the “bush bush:” a rural town with no electricity or running water in the Cabo Delgado region near Namuno. The couple watched mothers get up at 2 a.m. twice a week and make the five to six-hour trek for clean water because of a dried-up well.
The Beaudrys’ experiences in Africa led them to dream about being able to donate their products, which require no water use, to African villages. This would also benefit Mozambique’s K-12 schools, where Iris Global already provides a meal to around 400 students a day. In the future, the Beaudrys would like to contribute Rawr Bars to the program and support the children on their educational journey.
In January 2018, Rachel and Jake returned to Minnesota determined to start their small business. From January to April, the couple established trademark, branding and marketing, finally launching Rawr Organics in June 2018.
“When I came home to start the bar, I would literally just wake up in the morning and be like ‘God, I don’t know what I’m doing, this is all up to you,’” Rachel said. “God was my CEO and still to this day, I have to press into [my faith] daily.”
Five months later in June, Rachel and Jake launched Rawr Organics at Linden Hills Farmers Market. They also connected with local gyms in the area that were looking to sell their Rawr Bars to their clients.
“The moment I heard about Rawr and their mission, I knew they had something no other company out there had,” former Rawr Organics employee Kari Schumacher said. “Their humbling purpose has only become stronger to reach more people all over the world to make sure no one goes hungry.”
After their launch at the farmers market, Jake and Rachel transitioned Rawr Bars online.
Rachel and Jake celebrated the grand opening of their office in April 2019 and used its kitchen space to formulate all the Rawr Bars moving forward. Rachel and Jake delivered the Rawr Bars straight to the gyms or shipped them out of the metro region.
“We were making bars all day,” Rachel said. “We didn’t even have time to sell, people just kept reaching out and we were like wow … God is just doing it.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, Rawr Organics experienced setbacks as local gyms closed up in addition to a shortage of nut butters and fruits. Their challenging season was heightened when Jake got a serious case of COVID-19 and was hospitalized, preventing him from coming into the office for nearly seven weeks.
“Jake and Rachel are very driven and disciplined people, whether that is with their Christian faith, their fitness and health or their business,” Rachel and Jake’s niece and former Rawr Organics intern Makayla Morrell said. “It has been inspiring watching them follow God’s plan that he has for them and create this business that means so much to their values.”
Today Jake and Rachel continue to invest in their “God idea” of hand-making, shipping and wholesaling their kosher, kid-approved, paleo and keto-friendly Rawr Bars. They continue to be rooted and grounded in their love for God and their love for missions, donating 5% of net proceeds to Feed My Starving Children and 5% to Stop for The One, both non-profits focused on ending worldwide hunger.
“I love their mission and true purpose in this world,” Schumacher said. “They were blessed with a God-filled idea and they dropped everything to follow this faithful path.”