Trans-Global Path to Energy Fuel Inspiration


(Photo | Photo courtesy of Trail Butter)

Epic Bike Adventure Proved Spark for Central Oregon’s “Trail Butter” Pioneers

A recipe almost 9,000 miles in the making proved the key ingredient for success for Sisters-based natural energy food specialists Trail Butter, with the company continuing a healthy growth curve in the manufacturing sector and looking at widening expansion into international markets.

The base product has been called everything from a blended trail mix to a spreadable bar during its evolution over the last decade. But the calorie-dense, high (good) fat, high protein fuel has won rave reviews from trail enthusiasts and endurance athletes alike as a tasty all-natural energy food alternative that provides balanced, slow-burning energy in a convenient portable package, all while using real food elements.

Trail Butter CEO Jeff Boggess and Co-Founder — and brother — Wade Boggess are lifetime adventurers who credit their parents for teaching them how to craft delicious meals and snacks with real foods to fuel their wanderlust.

That grounding led Jeff Boggess to pack natural nut butters, mixed nuts, honey and dried fruits when he decided to embark on an epic 8,900-mile bike tour from Germany to California, by way of Europe, Northern Africa and the United States.

As far as navigating the vast expanse of ocean in between, he sailed the Atlantic by joining as a crew member on a 46-foot ketch sailboat, going from the Canary Islands to Martinique in the Caribbean, over 26 days.

Along the way, he found that his energizing snacks being packaged in heavy jars or inconvenient containers took up precious space in his small bike panniers (carriers that attach to a bike’s rear rack).

So, “somewhere in Arkansas,” it dawned on him that he could save space and create an even tastier snack by combining everything into one container. The resulting flavor explosion and energy burst took its creator by surprise.

Wade tried the new concoction and in a eureka moment after getting hooked himself, exclaimed “Trail Butter?!”

With the brothers united in determining to develop this idea and starting out with a few flavors to offer, the pair set up shop in Portland in 2012 and began selling their nut butter blends via bicycle pop-ups at local farmer’s markets.

Little by little, Trail Butter became known by athletes and food lovers alike for its all-natural goodness, going from the bike to the shelves of stores specializing in organic foods, like Whole Foods Market.

Jeff Boggess said, “We asked ourselves in today’s grab-and-go world, why couldn’t naturally shelf-stable, whole-food ingredients be packaged in convenient, portable pouches to provide lasting, slow-burning energy, so we started creating the nut butter blends that would evolve into Trail Butter

“The origin of the name is quite simple really — we like to think of it as one part ‘trail mix’ and one part ‘nut butter’; meld the two together and you’ve got ‘Trail Butter.’

“Our mission was to create delicious, all-natural energy alternatives using whole foods, plant-based, naturally sweet and never processed ingredients and since day one, we’ve operated under the mantra, ‘Be Trail Ready!’.”

With blends packed in easily portable squeezable pouches, as well as offering wholesome granola, the products have proven ideal to take on-the-go or smear on anything from toast to apples, and pancakes.

An appetizing line-up of flavors catering to any palate, with rotating seasonal offerings, includes Original Trail Mix — Smooth; Original Trail Mix — Chunky; Maple Syrup & Sea Salt; Dark Chocolate & Coffee; NW IPA Nut Butter; Spiced Chai and a Red, White & Blue ‘Tribute’ Blend

As well as its taste profile, Trail Butter has found favor for being all-natural, low sugar and gluten-free, with a long shelf life and a variety of sizes — from jar to resealable pouch or single-use packet — ideal for cycling, backpacking or hiking.

Jeff Boggess said the move to Sisters was motivated in part by a desire to be based in an outdoor-focused town near the mountains, with the added attraction of voluminous trail running and recreation adventure opportunities.

He added, “Outdoor enthusiasts are a key part of Trail Butter’s brand identity. We love the vibrant business community in Sisters and nearby Bend, with many like-minded outdoor and food companies already calling the area home.”

He also praised the assistance of the Sisters branch of Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) in connecting with supportive resources as part of the relocation

For its part, EDCO hailed the outfit as a notable example of a traded-sector company (one that exports most of their products or services out of the tri-county area) viewed as key to economic prosperity, especially in a target industry of outdoor recreation seen as an optimal fit with the region.

Boggess continued, “We have been in Oregon since the beginning and have experienced good growth over the last five years and are looking to expand internationally, currently in Europe and Japan.

“We have a key core team operationally, as well as 28 elite-level endurance athletes and photographers who act as ‘ambassadors’ that promote our product.

“We are also committed to raising money for environmental causes and select nonprofits.”

He said future plans include continuing to expand the product line, bringing in new accounts and broadening an international reach.

Along with his brother, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate Boggess said they are proud to have taken a homegrown product from a pop-up farmers market bike stand to a thriving, internationally distributed snack food, enabling high-performing individuals to fuel their ‘adventures’ effectively and conveniently, all while contributing to long-term, whole-body health.

A lifelong pilot with thousands of hours in the remote backcountry and with a major airline, co-founder Boise State University graduate Brad Boggess brings experience in graphic design, web development and operation of his own businesses in the past to guide big-picture strategic decision-making as Trail Butter grows.

As part of the company’s development, athletes, nutritionists and community members have collaborated and offered their expertise over the years to make sure that Trail Butter is equal parts flavorsome and nutritious and specially crafted to meet lifestyle, training and performance needs, regardless of interests or activity level.

Trail Butter is entirely naturally sweetened, predominantly with clover honey and maple syrup, and a single-serving packet (1.15 oz) contains around 190 calories. Each flavor, which is kneaded to mix the ingredients before consumption, contains 16-17 grams of the “good” fat per serving and none of the flavors contain “trans fats” helping to sustain energy through a workout, a long ride or a long workday.

Another option is a combination of Trail Butter’s Almond Butter, Maple Syrup and Sea Salt Granola in one ingenious package called the “Lil’ Crunch” which can conveniently slip right into a running vest front pouch ready to be tipped back.

Loaded with 360 calories and 10 grams of plant protein, this non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free granola comes in a resealable pack ready for trail action.

Thanks to an optimal balance of healthy fats, protein, antioxidants and fiber, plus being easy to digest, athletes benefit from eating the nut-based blend as a slow-burning energy source that when combined with carbohydrates, makes for great fuel.

Trail Butter is also a proud member of The Conservation Alliance and 1% for the Planet. Through these channels and other nonprofit partners, the company is committed to supporting critical social and environmental causes through the donation of at least 1% of its gross annual revenue.

As well as supporting relevant events, it also raises funds through the release of special seasonal flavors, known as the Butter4Good Initiative.

One recent example is a partnership with TB Pro, Tyler Green and the Forest Park Conservancy (FPC) for a limited edition “Northwest Triple Berry” blend to support the efforts of FPC to maintain trails, restore native habitat and inspire community appreciation and future stewardship of Portland’s urban forest for generations to come. Some ten percent of the profits from this initiative will be donated to FPC. Learn more at

Trail Butter is available through the company website, Amazon and select retail outlets (see store locator link on website).

Its jars are a BPA-free, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic that is
fully recyclable.


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