— -- In his four years serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Matthew DeMaio’s diet could be described as poor, at best, he said.
“Diet in the service, I think, is a challenge right now,” said DeMaio, 29, who was a sergeant. “A lot of guys, including myself, don’t have healthy diets -- Honey Buns, Domino’s. We stay very physically fit because we’re so active, but things that I see a lot of guys put in their bodies are not all that great for them.”
DeMaio said he rarely had time to just sit down and heat up a meal, let alone a healthy and nutritious one, while providing security for humanitarians in Mozambique, Africa, during an additional year-and-a-half in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
“I was eating two different bars -- one for protein, one for complex carbohydrates -- to get sustained energy,” said DeMaio. “I was just thinking: Where's the nutrition bar that's just made for us and what we do? I thought I’d take a crack at it.”
When DeMaio returned home from Africa, he said he promptly began experimenting in his tiny kitchen in Valley Stream, New York.
“It was a lot of researching ingredients and trial and error,” said DeMaio. “I mean, the first few batches were horrendous. It was like a Frankenstein mess. It was horrible. But slowly and steadily, I just started refining the recipe, keeping notes, tracking things, getting feedback.”
And so, the Condition One energy bar was born.
“Condition One is a mission performance bar or a mission sustainment bar,” said DeMaio. “It's all natural, mostly organic ingredients. It's a well-rounded bar that gives you protein, full amino acid profile to help with muscle fatigue, good quality complex carbohydrates to sustain energy, as well as healthy fats ... and a good calorie content.”
Though the company is still in its infancy, DeMaio has big dreams for Condition One. One of his main goals is to make it a company run by veterans and using profits to help veterans. DeMaio has already brought on two vets to his team, U.S. Air Force Reserves Staff Sgt. Chaney Harrison and former Marine Sgt. Rudy Reyes.
“I hope that we can grow this, that we can get some capital injected into the company and really grow this into something great,” said DeMaio. “I think a big picture of this concept, once it grows, is to be able to help veterans post-service. And there's just so many things we can do for them. And that's important to us and this company.”