I recently completed my third LOTOJA, the longest one-day, USCF sanctioned bike race in the United States. One of the event sponsors is Clif Bar. Not only do they have great products, they have a great brand story.
While on a long 175-mile bike ride, Clif Bar founder, Gary Erickson, was trying to keep his energy up by eating Powerbars. At some point, he couldn't stomach the idea of another bite of the sticky, hard-to-digest bars. And the thought occurred to him that he could make a better bar with natural ingredients. Two years (and who knows how many failed attempts) later, he had a better tasting energy bar and began selling them in local bike shops.
As people discovered his bars, their popularity spread, and Clif Bar grew quickly. It's all word-of-mouth and PR, they don't do much advertising. There was a brief flirtation with selling the company before Gary decided he could better fulfill his vision by keeping the company private. Today there are a dozen Clif Bar flavors, gels, a bar formulated for women, energy and recovery drinks and more. All are made from natural (mostly organic) ingredients. Importantly, the company is about more than making a profit or simply making food. They live their mission. Each year employees and other friends of the company gather for the epiphany ride to commemorate that first bike ride when Gary had the idea to create the Clif Bar.