Clif Bar“We started mixing. We broke paddles. We burned out the motor on her KitchenAid mixer." -Gary Erickson In 1990, Gary Erickson set off on a one-day, 175-mile bicycle ride with his buddy Jay. As usual, he packed six energy bars for the ride—using the only bar on the market at the time. Halfway through the ride, exhausted and hungry, Gary realized he just couldn’t eat another unappetizing, sticky, hard-to-digest bar. Then and there, in a moment he now calls “the epiphany,” the inspiration for the CLIF® Bar was born. He took to his mother's kitchen, and the rest is history.
TwentyTwo DesignsTwentytwo Designs isn't in a garage anymore, but that's where they started. Now they're in a community-sponsored industrial space just down the road.
EnLIGHTened Equipment quilts started in Tim Marshall’s Minnesota basement. Just this year the company finally made its way to a larger space, but it is still within walking distance of Tim's house.
Meier Handmade SkisMeier Handmade Skis began in 2009 in a one-car garage in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado. Matt Cudmore was a ski junkie with a passion for fine craftsmanship. He gave up searching for “the next perfect ski,” and decided to build it himself. In doing so, he created the first pair of Meier Handmade Skis.
Patagoniahis business making reusable pitons, teaching himself how to black smith using a coal-fired forge, 138-pound anvil and some tongs and hammers he found at the junkyard in 1957. Word spread about his pitons and soon he was selling them from a small shop he built in his parent’s backyard. (Photo courtesy Patagonia Archives)
Supai Adventure GearSupai Adventure Gear's ultralight rafts were made for years in the living room of owners Shannon Flowers and Aaron Locander home. The couple recently bought a house just down the street to serve as the company's headquarters.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Hyperlite Mountain Gear occupies a small portion of what was once one of the largest textile mills in the country. The quintessential New England brick structure was built in the early 1800s to process cotton grown in the south.