Bri Makaric is taking a bite out of life.
While it may seem like the third-year Michigan State University student already has a full plate with her studies, Makaric has managed to save a little room for the sweetness of success that comes with dessert by putting her kinesiology major and entrepreneurship and innovations minors to good use as a business owner.
Makaric founded the snack-food company BRITE Bites, where she works full time with three interns from MSU. BRITE Bites sells all-natural treats with a focus on giving people an easy way to get probiotics. The company name stands for Balance, Real, Integrity, Trust and Energy, which Makaric explained were the concepts that she built her business around.
“I grew up with digestive problems and took probiotics that helped me, but they came in inconvenient forms for on the go or travel. I wanted people like me to be able to get probiotic help in better ways. I wanted them in food and snacks,” Makaric said.
Makaric developed and refined the BRITE Bites recipes herself with focus groups and samplings,
and the MSU product center helped with the nutritional analysis.
“Probiotics are the live bacteria in your digestive tract that help you digest food and help to keep out bad bacteria. This supports your immune system as well, and with 1 billion CFU (colony-forming units) per serving, it’s comparable to a supplement,” Makaric said.
The bites themselves are little half circles that come in three flavors: original, super and cocoa. All varieties contain chia, flax and pumpkin seeds. The cocoa flavor includes an almond butter base with oats, cacao and dairy-free dark chocolate. The original flavor has organic peanut butter with oats, cinnamon and sea salt. The super flavor has dates, ginger and turmeric with cranberries and coconut flakes. All three flavors are dairy-free but not vegan and come in a travel size of two or a bag of eight.
“I wanted diverse flavors that went well with each other,” Makaric said. “They even pair well with other things, like the cocoa goes well with coffee or wine and the super flavor is great before a workout or in the morning.”
BRITE Bites makes all of its treats at the Allen Neighborhood Center’s kitchen in Lansing, where Makaric rents time. All production and packaging are done there too.
Makaric said she hopes to scale up the production of BRITE Bites and reach more out-of-state locales. She’d also like to expand her business with additional BRITE Bite flavors and drinks containing probiotics.
For more information about BRITE Bites and where to buy them, visit britesnacks.com.