Healthy snacks feed booming Ore. business

Healthy snacks feed booming Ore. business

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by Joe Smith, KGW business reporter

kgw.com

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 23 at 7:30 AM

MCMINNVILLE -- A mother's mission to help her children snack healthy has become a booming Oregon business.

Betty Lou Carrier started the trend 35 years ago because her sons Fred and John, who now both work the company, had food allergies.

Her specialty was gluten-free peanut nut butter balls. Friends and neighbors liked them so much that they wanted to buy them. She even made a road trip across the country and back selling them.

Carrier was originally from Ohio, but decided to set up shop in Oregon because of the healthy lifestyle here.

Betty Lou products are now sold around the world. Two shifts of workers six days a week produce 65 million healthy snacks annually bearing her name.

“What I wanted to do was make good products for people to eat good healthy products. That's all I was thinking about,” she told KGW.

TV star Elizabeth Hasselbeck also created her own line of healthy snacks, called the G Free Diet, which are produced at Betty Lou’s plant, one of about 60 private labels produced at Betty Lou's.

As many as 250 people may be added to the workforce soon to the rapidly growing company. And that’s not the only way her company has been helping the state.

Betty Lou donated a million health bars to the Oregon Food Bank in 2012.

Her company is one of nearly a thousand food processing firms in Oregon that accounted last year for 29,000 jobs producing goods valued at $8.5 billion.

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