Enter the State of NRG with Kent Baake ('93), whose wholesale food and energy bar company exemplifies not just his livelihood but his lifestyle.
"I'm really into fun and adventure... more than money," says Baake,
whose company offers hundreds of kinds of energy and power bars sold
by the box
Baake enjoys rock climbing, ice climbing, snowboarding, in-line skating, mountain biking, hiking and other wilderness excursions. Currently, he is training in hopes of setting a world record for in-line skating this fall - 297 miles in 24 hours.
Baake says he named his company for the New River Gorge in West Virginia. "It's a fabulous part of the country," he says. "The New River Gorge has some of the best climbing, kayaking, hiking and biking opportunities available anywhere. I found myself looking for a healthful energy bar to keep me going through my adventures. I created State of NRG to provide customers the opportunity to buy at a discount those hard-to-find energy bars from around the world."
Baake's energy and enthusiasm for healthful food and living permeates his company's mission. "We contribute 10 percent of our profits to environmental non-profits and we use environmental-friendly packaging and processes," he says.
At JMU, Baake was a management major with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business management. He also owns Metro Gutter and Home Services, a company he began as a student during summer and winter breaks. Today, the company employs up to 25 people at peak times of the year.
"I feel very fortunate that I can work the hours that I want," says Baake. "On average, that's usually about 20 hours a week. I have lots of free time that most people only dream of until retirement."