We had the good fortune of connecting with John Campbell Brooke Oliphant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John Campbell, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Simply connecting with people and building a community behind the brand. We decided early on that without a community our product would have no soul and without soul you have no brand. We wanted Wild Monkey Snacks to convey to people that healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad. When you combine good food with an active lifestyle, you’ll feel like the best version of yourself. In essence, we wanted to change hearts and minds about how crucial it is to live a healthy lifestyle one Wild Monkey Bar a time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think we both veered off the path of finding conventional careers and climbing a ladder to success. Brooke and I bounced around, traveled, and dabbled with many different things in our 20’s and as a result we ended up here in Boulder where the two of us met. We both have been working as essential workers during the last year – Brooke an operating room nurse in a pediatric hospital, and John an employee at Trader Joe’s. Unlike many of our friends who were fortunate enough to have the option to work from home, we’ve carried on in-person throughout the pandemic to keep vital services in our community running, all the while trying to start a business. It wasn’t ideal, but it showed us that if we could get our brand off the ground during these unprecedented times, we could pretty much do anything once things settle down. There were many opportunities to settle for “pretty good”, but there was plenty of time to try new things, to see what we liked and didn’t like. Life may be finite…but it’s never too late to run after your dreams!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, we really love it here so we’d want to give our friends the best Boulder experience possible. We’d start the day with an early-morning hike up Mount Sanitas. With the sun beaming from the east, the views overlooking this town are just magnificent. From there, we’d grab a cup of coffee at our favorite spot, Beleza Coffee Bar. Not only is the coffee incredible, but the staff there really make you feel at home. We’d follow that up with a delicious breakfast at Lucille’s Creole Cafe. It’s such a darling place to refuel and it’s right off Pearl Street. After breakfast it would be time to rent bikes and cruise up one of the gorgeous canyons right here in town. Then, of course, it would be time to eat again so we’d head to Mountain Sun for what we both agree are some of the best burgers on planet Earth (counting down the days until they reopen!). As the sun sets, we’d take an evening stroll down Pearl, showing off our favorite local shops and then finish the day off at one of the countless dinner spots we adore (currently in our top rotation: The Kitchen and Sushi Zanmai). No trip to Boulder would be complete without an adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park, so that would be on the next day’s itinerary. A visit to the Boulder Farmers Market for some local treasures would follow (where Wild Monkey Snacks got its start!). After that, a scramble up the second Flatiron, assuming our guests have shaken their food coma and are ready to spring back into action. Honestly, we could ramble on forever about how there’s always something awesome to do in Boulder…so we’ll leave it at that otherwise this interview will never end!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our Families, the resilient community of Boulder and all the friends we have made along the way!
Special Shoutouts to Brandon at Lift Chocolates a true mentor, and Greg and Nafisa at Beleza Coffee Bar for becoming our first retails partners
We truly could not do this without you!
John and Brooke