Little Bart Paws Waffles
Kodiak Cakes helping to conserve grizzly bear habitat
By Matt Hart
Bart the Bear is at it again. Well, Little Bart, to be specific, the successor to Bart I’s role as Vital Ground’s Chief Ambassador-in-Fur.
After a Game of Thrones appearance and more than a few movies, Little Bart is now taking his talents to the breakfast table. Under the careful guidance of his trainers, Vital Ground co-founders Doug and Lynne Seus, the 1,100-pound Kodiak grizzly recently appeared in a film commercial for the appropriately named Kodiak Cakes, a producer of hearty whole-grain breakfast staples like pancake mix, oatmeal, and now, toaster waffles.
Bart must have caught wind of the new waffle recipe, as the ad depicts him on a film set, tearing down a curtain to reveal a walk-in freezer that presumably holds many breakfasts’ worth of Kodiak Cakes’ new product. “They’re not frozen, they’re hibernating,” the slogan reads as a member of the film crew is shown munching on a syrupy plate of waffles amid Bart’s jealous groans.
While this is Bart’s debut with Kodiak Cakes, it’s not the company’s first experience with grizzlies. That’s because the brand has become a key supporter of Vital Ground’s work to conserve grizzly habitat in the northern Rockies and prevent conflicts between bears and humans.
Kodiak Cakes has a tradition of protecting nature, so joining forces with the Seuses and supporting Vital Grounds has been a natural fit,” says Allison Brown, public relations manager for Kodiak Cakes. “Through our partnership with Vital Ground, and with Bart’s help, Kodiak Cakes is working to support efforts to increase the awareness and effectiveness of conservation efforts wherever grizzly bears may roam.”
Selling a single pancake and waffle mix, Kodiak Cakes launched in Park City, Utah, in 1995. The family-owned company reaches back two generations for its origin story, to a grandfather’s recipe for hearty whole-wheat flapjacks. First selling their add-water-only mix to gift shops in the ski towns of Park City, Sun Valley and Jackson, the brand has grown steadily and now distributes nationwide, producing nine variations of the original pancake and waffle mix, along with granola, oatmeal and other baking mixes.
But the toaster waffle line will be Kodiak Cakes’ first foray into the frozen—or rather, hibernating—foods section of the supermarket. Shoppers can feel great about their purchase, knowing that not only is the whole-grain product a healthy choice for the human body, but also a healthy choice for the entire northern Rockies bioregion. That’s because Kodiak Cakes doesn’t just put a bear on their logo, but through support of Vital Ground, they help keep bears free and safe in the wild landscapes they call home.