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What's Your Frontier: John Oja

Our mission at Kodiak Cakes is to inspire healthier eating and active living with nourishment for today’s frontier. But have you ever wondered what we mean by “today’s frontier?” Before the development of big cities with towering skyscrapers, there were small towns with dirt roads surrounded by vast wilderness. Life on the frontier consisted of hard days spent working to clear land and plant crops. In those days, people relied on wholesome foods like whole grains to provide them the nourishment they’d need to conquer life on the frontier.

Fast forward to 2019, and you’ll notice that life has evolved into many different frontiers. Your frontier may take the shape of the daily nine-to-five grind while your neighbor tackles the challenging task of balancing the varied schedules of a young family. Some may spend their time in the gym building up their endurance for an upcoming 5k, while others may be trying to adopt a healthier diet. Whatever your frontier may be, the need for real, nourishing food remains the same.

This week we’re spotlighting John Oja, eCommerce Support Manager at Kodiak Cakes, whose frontier lies in the saddle of his trusty mountain bike exploring the mountain trails of Park City, Utah. John didn’t start mountain biking until he moved to Utah just over three years ago. Having grown up on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, John has always felt at home in the mountains and Utah seemed to welcome him with open arms and a new sport!

Why Mountain Biking?

“Mountain biking is so much FUN! I just can’t get enough. I love that I can get in a great workout without having to go to the gym, but my favorite part about mountain biking is spending time making memories with the people (and pups) in my life who also love to mountain bike.

I grew up snowboarding, and it’s been really fun for me to find something else that I love to do as much, if not more, than snowboarding. Better yet, mountain biking is a three-season sport, and in the winter, I can even road trip south for the weekend if I want to ride. But I have to say, the fall is prime bike season and the display of changing leaves makes Utah riding one of a kind. The mountains surrounding the Park City area turn all sorts of colors from fiery reds and oranges to bright yellows and greens, and temperatures finally start to cool off from the hot Utah summer.”

How Do You Fuel For Mountain Biking?

“I almost always fuel for big rides with a big Buttermilk Power Cakes waffle topped with Greek yogurt and maple syrup. If I’m running late and need something I can eat on my way to the trailhead, I’ll reach for a Kodiak Cup. I choose Kodiak Cakes because they not only taste great, but they are also packed with nutrients that I know my body needs for energy during my ride. On longer rides, I usually bring along energy chews or a bag of Bear Bites so I have something when I feel my energy depleting. Both trail snacks are staples in my bike pack, and I usually bring extra because you never know who might need a quick fix to crank through those last few miles. If I spend most of my day in the saddle, I like to reward myself with my favorite treat, a Kodiak Cakes Brownie Cup—after all, it’s still packed with whole grains and protein, right?” 

How Else Does Kodiak Cakes Support Your Frontier?

“One of my favorite perks about working at Kodiak Cakes is BEAR Bucks (a yearly stipend each employee receives to spend on things that inspire them to get outside and be more active). BEAR Bucks has enabled me to buy a mountain bike (or a few), tools, and accessories to help me excel in my new hobby. Kodiak Cakes is also nested in a valley surrounded by mountain bike trails that have become a lunchtime playground for my coworkers and me.

Last summer, I set a goal to log 1000 miles on my mountain bike over the course of the season. I rode all the way into November despite snow already starting to stick at several Utah ski resorts. On November 5th, I geared up to hit the trail one last time to ride the last few miles left to reach my goal. When I returned, the Kodiak Cakes team was standing outside in the cold with balloons and kazoos to cheer me across the finish line. It meant a lot to me to know I had their support with every mile!”

We want to know about your frontier! Share your story with us on Facebook and Instagram by tagging @kodiakcakes and using #kodiakcakes.

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