2 Dumb 2 Quit - History of FortiFx

"2 Dumb 2 Quit"

How FortiFx Bar Creator Sean Perich Developed a Protein Bar You Actually Want to Eat

If you're a pro athlete or just someone who likes healthy food that tastes good, you know how disappointing it is to work hard at the gym only to suffer through a tasteless snack or meal, so you don't ruin all of your hard work. The last thing you want is a mouthful of cardboard simply to hit your fitness goals. 


Changing the Game

This is precisely what Sean Perich had in mind when he took his love of weight training and combined it with his tough-as-nails determination and started baking protein cookies in his Pittsburgh kitchen. 

He began 20 years ago by testing a chocolate chip cookie recipe using vanilla protein powder. The results ultimately became the first-of-its-kind protein bar that even the pickiest fitness enthusiast will enjoy. Half granola, half protein bar, FortiFx is entirely delicious.

FortiFx Granola Protein Bars, It's What's Been Missing

So, how did Sean do it? His story of hard work, curiosity, and a love of fitness and nutrition were the recipe needed to create a delightful protein bar. 

But first, a brief history lesson you never knew you needed.


Old Granula Splash

100 Years of Nutrition: The invention of Granola and Protein Bars

Have you ever been curious about the invention of granola? Honesty, me neither, but it's a pretty interesting story. 

Dr. James Jackson invented Granula (not a typo) at a health spa in Dansville, New York, way back in 1863. It was made with graham flour and eaten as a cereal. It became so popular that Dr. Jackson decided to sell it under the name "Our Home Granula Company." 

A decade or so later, John Kellogg developed a similar cereal called granola to differentiate it from Dr. Jackson's blend. Over the next hundred years, many other companies would formulate new recipes that included oats, dried fruit and nuts, honey, and several other key ingredients to create delicious flavors and textures.

The 1960s brought a complete revival of granola thanks to the health movement of nature-loving hippies. They even served Granola as a healthy snack to Woodstock attendees in 1969!

One hundred years after granola first hit the health spa, NASA began the development of nutrition bars along with Pillsbury's chief food technologist to provide healthy food to astronauts. Known initially as Space Food Sticks, these nutrition bars were designed to be eaten by an astronaut in space while wearing a helmet.

One item had great texture and flavor, while the other had all the nutrition any athlete (or astronaut) could need in a convenient package. But neither had it all. Not a lot until Sean Perich came along.

A Boy from Pittsburgh Rises from Rejection

If you've ever been to Pittsburgh, you'll know why it's often called the steel city, the iron city, or the city of champions. 

People in Pittsburgh grow up with a blue-collar ethic deep within their veins and a strong sense of loyalty. They pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get things done the American way. It was the same for Sean Perich, future President of Fortifx. No one was going to hand this adopted boy anything. He learned that early in life and worked hard to realize his dreams.

Raised by working-class parents, Sean struggled in school as a kid, even having to repeat the second grade. That perceived failure led many people to write him off as a "loser" or "dummy" when he was just eight years old. He was often told he would never amount to anything, which made him even more determined never to give anyone the satisfaction of watching him quit.

Sean's youth made him strong in the face of challenges and rejection. Having dealt with judgment and defeat at a young age, Sean is not afraid of hearing the word no and views failure as just his way of finding out what doesn't work. 

Fortunately for Sean, he discovered a love of weight training in high school and developed solid friendships with kids as tough and streetwise as he was. Those friendships would carry him through some of the most significant decisions in his life and help him achieve the ultimate level of success. 

After high school, Sean studied Accounting at Duquesne University, proving his doubters wrong by earning a degree and starting a successful career as a CPA. After many years, he felt pulled to start his own business and was even more focused on fitness and nutrition. There's never a great time to take a risk, but Sean decided it was now or never.

Lifelong Friends Help Build the American Dream

FortiFX Founders

Sean had learned at a young age that if you want something, you have to take it. No one is going to hand it to you. He decided to take a leap of faith and leave his safe employment as a CPA behind to follow his dream. Some of the most brilliant people he knew said he was making a huge mistake, but their doubt only fueled his determination. Sean knew he had the drive and support of his high school weight training friends to make it work.

In early 2000, Sean bought a baking pan and a tiny mixer and started making protein cookies in his apartment. With no food chemistry background but a solid work ethic and an attitude he describes as "2 dumb 2 quit", he perfected the recipe. He officially started his new nutrition bar manufacturing business, Bakery Barn

His secret? The heat. Something other bars were missing. Baking the bars instead of cold extruding them like other brands, he created a perfect texture and brought out the flavor without the chalky aftertaste.

At first, Sean could only produce 24 protein cookies an hour, about 250 cookies per day. His big dreams kept him in that kitchen until he found himself needing more space... a lot more space.

That tenacity and work ethic paid off, and Sean soon found himself moving into a 40,000-square-foot facility filled with $12 million in equipment. He started producing white label protein bars for the biggest and best companies and is the inventor of countless great tasking protein bars (Fit Crunch, RedCon1 MRE bars, Weight Watchers, MetRx, to name a few.). His output grew to 30,000 protein bars an hour – that's 500 bars per minute—a giant leap from his 250 per day in his apartment kitchen.

Sean was proud of what he built, but after 20 years of grit and grind, he sold the company he had built from the ground up to focus on a project seven years in the making.

In a desire to include those who had stuck by his side, he recruited his brother and three of his most loyal, lifelong friends (those same training partners from high school) on his new journey to create Fortifx bars. 

FortiFx Bars Emerge from the Streets of Pittsburgh

All those hours in his tiny apartment kitchen paid off. Sean had discovered the secret to a perfect protein bar. FortiFX bars are the world's first 6-layer half granola bar, half protein bar that tastes like candy but is actually good for you.  

Two Worlds Collide

One could say that it was just like granola bars and protein bars joined in marriage and had a baby: FortiFx. 

Every FortiFx bar contains 20G protein, perfect for building muscle and supporting your training routine. At just 260 calories and 3 grams of sugar, they have the perfect balance of macros for even the pickiest fitness enthusiast. 

They're ideal for weightlifters, runners, or anyone who wants a delicious, healthy snack on the go. They're also gluten-free to fit perfectly into a variety of lifestyles. Finally, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt of sacrificing your healthy habits.

With flavors like Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Chocolate Pretzel, Honey Almond, and Peanut Butter, you're sure to find one that satisfies your cravings. FortiFx is also planning to launch three new, incredible flavors, including Strawberry, Peanut Butter Cup, and S'mores!

Chocolate Pretzel Bar

It's genuinely a nutrition bar you actually want to eat. 

The Fortifx bar Sean invented in a tiny Pittsburgh kitchen is still made in that grand city today. Sean has built his business to over 100 million dollars and employs over 350 people. He has produced bars distributed in over 60 countries.

If you're ready to try out the FortiFx bar that took Sean over 20 years to perfect, grab a free sample pack or choose the flavor that sounds right for you at

So, which FortiFx flavor(s) will become a staple in your pantry, purse, or gym bag?

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