Couple run business in old Lincoln Harps building
LINCOLN – Robert and Crystal Sikes have gone from making their own keto nutritional bars to producing thousands of bars each month and shipping Lincoln’s bars to customers in the US and around the world.
Their company, Keto Savage, also offers personal coaching, training, and nutrition education through videos and podcasts that reach millions of people every week, they said.
The company is now based in the old Harps building in Lincoln, and the couple have completely transformed the interior of the building.
Inside, they have a commercial kitchen to produce the keto bars, called Savage Bricks, a treadmill and a machine to wrap the bars for shipping, a private gym for workouts and workout videos, an office with technology for their podcasts and a conference room for corporate meetings.
Other plans for the building include making their own clothing line, called Live Savage, and setting up a store at the front of the building that will have ketogenic clothing items that customers can purchase on site.
‘Super small, skinny’
Robert’s journey started as a boy, he said. He was super short, skinny but wanted to imitate his uncle, the sportsman of the family. His uncle taught him how to do a bicep curl and from there Robert said he started learning weight training.
He grew up in Wye Mountain, graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2014, and moved to Spokane, Wash., To work for the railroad.
Robert took part in bodybuilding competitions but had eating disorders and digestive issues. He said he discovered that when he eliminated carbohydrates from his diet, his troubles began to subside. He decided to go ahead and research the diet, his first step into the ketogenic world.
Robert met Crystal in Washington, and she “got married to my madness a bit,” Robert said. Both have changed their lives on the keto diet and are passionate about helping others, he said.
In 2016, he launched Keto Savage for their YouTube videos and podcasts, and then in 2017, the couple created a keto nutrition bar for their own use.
“We never planned to sell them, but people started seeing it on the YouTube channel and they wanted it,” Robert said.
The couple started making the keto bars and decided to move from Washington to Northwest Arkansas so they could learn the business side of their business. They spent three years building the business using a building with a commercial kitchen in Little Rock.
At first, they both worked in Northwest Arkansas and traveled to Little Rock on weekends to produce their Keto Bricks. They would offer them online, sell them and then go home at the end of the weekend. Soon they found out that was too much, so in 2018 they decided to work full time with the Keto Bricks business and moved to Little Rock.
“We were super broke,” said Robert. “So broken that the apartment we were trying to live in didn’t accept us because we didn’t have pay stubs. So we lived in the warehouse for three years in Little Rock. “
After three years in Little Rock, they were ready to return to Northwest Arkansas and began to search for land. They couldn’t find anything suitable, then they looked at the empty Harps building.
“This building was perfect,” said Robert. “It provided a blank canvas so we could do whatever we needed with it.”
They bought the building in August 2020 and spent the last year renovating it to meet their needs.
All eight of their employees came with them to Northwest Arkansas. The Sikes live in Cane Hill and other members of their team live in Lincoln, Prairie Grove, Farmington and Fayetteville.
The company’s commercial kitchen is operational in the old Harps building. Sikes said his employees make around 15,000 to 20,000 bars each month, and they ship mostly to the United States, but he has customers in other countries as well.
Each Savage brick contains 1,000 calories and the main ingredient is cocoa butter, a hard, quality source of fat, Robert said. The ingredients are mixed, poured into molds and then frozen. The individual bars go from a conveyor belt to a machine to be wrapped and then are packaged in boxes for shipping.
Both Sikes produce podcasts and offer one-on-one coaching sessions for men and women. Robert said he enjoys inviting guests for his podcasts, such as athletes and doctors. It has produced around 400 episodes and its episodes have 2.25 million downloads.
His Keto Savage podcast is ranked as one of the world’s leading nutrition podcasts, he said. He publishes two new podcasts every week.
“We’re just having a good conversation,” Robert said. “I like to talk to them about their field. I learned a lot.
Crystal’s podcast is called Lady Savage. She said she usually limits the number of her clients for coaching sessions so as not to get overwhelmed.
“A lot of the responsibility,” Crystal said.
Help their “backyard”
Crystal said the couple’s business model is based on health, nutrition and fitness.
“We are very committed to people knowing how to do things right,” she said.
One of the goals is to help the community learn more about nutrition, she said.
“You can be online and share with the world, but if you’re not doing anything in your garden then what are you doing? We would love to be able to help the community as well,” she said.
Simply put, Robert said that a ketogenic diet is a diet with higher dietary fat, moderate protein, and very, very low carbohydrates.
“This distribution causes your body to use fat and ketones for energy and fuel. So, rather than eating carbohydrates for energy, your body is able to use the fat you eat and the fat stored. for energy. A lot of people do it for weight loss It’s also a much cleaner source of fuel. “
Sugar causes health problems, and people can get around many of these problems by changing their fuel source, he added.
Lynn Kutter can be contacted by email at [email protected]
Robert Sikes has a podcast called Keto Savage and its setup is in his office for Savage Sports, located in the former Harps grocery store in Lincoln.
LYNN KUTTER ENTERPRISE-LEADER This conveyor belt transports Savage Keto bars to a machine where the bars are wrapped in wrapper, then wrapped and shipped across the country.
LYNN KUTTER ENTERPRISE-LEADER Layne Nikes puts Keto Savage Bars on a conveyor belt. The company produces the keto bars at the former Harps grocery store in Lincoln. The bars go from the conveyor belt to a machine that wraps the bars. From there the bars are packed and shipped.