Derwood, MD

Give your competitive edge a boost with MD student-owned ModBars

Heather Jauquet

What are your dreams made of?
Joseph Oleynik (CTO) and Jeff Su (CEO) Co-Founders of ModBarsHeather Jauquet/Author

At the Derwood Farmer’s Market, I stopped by one vendor when I saw that it is a Montgomery County student-owned snack bar company. Student owned? Tell me more!

“ModBars created by athletes for athletes”—ModBars

At Modbars, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Su and Joseph Oleynik, two of the five founders of the student owned and oeprated snack bar company. The founders are former student-athletes from Montgomery County's Walt Whitman High School. Jeff and Joseph were competitive club swimmers and former swim captains for Whitman HS.

Jeff is a recent University of Maryland graduate who majored in Finance and Supply Chain Management. Joseph, a current UMD student, is the Chief Technology Officer and the creative responsible for the package design, website, and social media.

So Why ModBars?
Price list for ModBarsHeather Jauquet/Author

Jeff grew up with a severe tree-nut allergy. As a competitive swimmer, he found it challenging to find a nut-free protein bar after practice. Joseph found that other snack bars gave athletes a sugar rush after competing, but after the sugar rush came the sugar crash. Athletes were then consuming more bars but unable to satiate their hunger after a competitive workout.

Frustrated with the available options, Jeff and Joseph, together with their friends, decided to create a better version of a protein snack bar. They designed a low-sugar, nut-free, high-protein granola bar that keeps athletes fuller longer without the cycle of a sugar rush quickly followed by the inevitable sugar crash. You can eat them before or after a workout for maximum benefit. As a runner, this would be a good fueling option for me in the middle of a long run.

“ModBars keep you full longer and are for people who lead an active lifestyle.”—Joseph Oleynik, Chief Technology Officer

The five founders Jeff Su (CEO), Max Levine (COO), Nate Stevens (CFO), Wyatt Talcott (CMO), and Joseph Oleynik (CTO), spent five months researching and experimenting with different ingredients. Their hard work paid off, and they came up with winning batch #94 and created the protein-packed Viking Whey ModBar, which continues to be one of their best sellers for people who want a nutritious source of protein or a hearty snack. Each bar contains 11 grams of protein and perfect for competitive athletes. Every ModBar is deliciously baked and packaged by the ModBars founders at Tastemakers, a commercially licensed shared kitchen out of Washington, D.C.

According to Jeff and Joseph, the first ingredient is granola based “So you are not going to get that sugar crash.” The bars have just enough sweetness to tickle your tastebuds. The high fiber keeps athletes full during and after their workouts. When I asked if athletes could eat this before a grueling practice, they said that it would keep them full without giving them that lead belly feeling. The combination of oats takes longer to break down, so that helps prevent that cycle of a sugar crash.
A selection of ModBarsHeather Jauquet/Author

We decided to give them a try and bought several bars at the Derwood Farmer’s Market. Family favorites already include the Viking Whey, the Milky Whey, the Javastrip, and The King.

The Milky Whey protein bar is a vanilla version of the Viking Whey. It’s sweet, smooth, and kind of creamy. And dare I say it? It’s out of this world. There’s a good reason that this is a top seller.

The King is a mild dessert snack bar inspired by Elvis Presley’s love for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Perfect for those athletes with a sweet tooth.

The javaStrip is a vegan energy bar that my 15-year-old said was the perfect bar before swimming his final stroke of a meet, the butterfly. The butterfly takes a lot of coordination, strength, and stamina and comes as one of the last events in a competitive swim meet for the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL). My son said that the javaStrip was the perfect pick me up after swimming a full load of events during a meet.

ModBars also offers Booty Fruit, Gold Rush, and Cinn-Full.

Where can you find them?

Not only can you find the ModBars at the Derwood Farmer’s Market, but you can also find them online and in person at the University of Maryland, College Park, Virginia Tech, and Washington University in St. Louis. You can also order your very own subscription box.


Have you tried a ModBar yet? What are you waiting for?

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Heather Jauquet writes articles centered around the DMV and her adventures in other local communities. Follow her to get information about Montgomery County education, government, and community news. When she's not writing, she's running. Got a story to share? Email her:

Gaithersburg, MD

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