Julie Fox wanted to do everything in her power to prevent her husband’s Barrett’s Esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition, from progressing into cancer. She removed gluten, cane sugar and dairy from their diets. “Overnight we started eating Paleo,” she tells FOX Business. “I didn’t want Mike to feel like he was on a diet for the rest of his life, so I started making him all these yummy nut-based snacks like almond butters and cashew butters.”
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To this she added grain-free granolas, and “Julie’s Real” was born. Mike and Julie thought they had something delicious and unique on their hands, but wanted to double-check. “We started bringing it to the gym,” Mike relates to FOX Business. “We’d give it to all the all the clients there and the trainers, and everybody really liked it. This was before we had labels or anything, so we just had clear bags of granola.”
Julie continued to make the granola, even while being a full-time speech pathologist and working with special needs children.
Damon Goddard, founder of AMPD Fitness (which provides hands on and online training for golfers) and trainer of PGA star Jordan Spieth, joined the Julie’s Real bandwagon early on. “Think of these athletes as Ferraris. I’m going to put the best fuel I can into my athlete much like I would a Ferrari,” Goddard explains. “So, this is where I can rest at ease, knowing that with Julie’s Real I’m putting the highest quality fuel into my athletes and getting the greatest performance out of them.”
In 2016, Julie’s Real became an official snack at The Ryder Cup. Then, as Julie explains, “Steve Stricker’s team reached out to us this past spring and said, ‘Hey Julie, the Ryder Cup went so well – everybody loved your products. We want you to do that again for the President’s Cup team at Liberty National.’ So again, our products were fueling Team USA.”
Julie started selling products on her website, then Royal Blue Grocery Store in Texas’s Highland Park Village became the first store to carry them. Keeping them confined to one store did not last long. Julie’s Real expanded to Whole Foods in the Dallas Fort Worth area and to Fairway Marketplaces in New York City.
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The expansion rolled on. Mike tells Fox Business, “Today we’re in about 25 states, so we want to be in all the states.”
Julie emphasizes that Julie’s Real is more than just a business. “The fact that I could do something to help his [Mike’s] health and that he is so supportive of me in starting this business and helping me grow it, it makes it more fun. It makes it more fulfilling.” Julie adds, “At the end of the day, you feel good about what you are doing… it’s something that I wake up in the morning and think, ‘Wow, this is exciting. This is something I love doing!’”