WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita Falls chef is soaring to a new level after opening a business during the pandemic.

Seasons Eatings started out as a way for Todd Artigue and Cara Mullenix to eat healthier but quickly turned into something much bigger. During the pandemic, Todd struggled to find jobs as a chef. He decided to create a granola bar that promoted a healthy lifestyle.

“All of our ingredients that we use are non-GMO are organic,” said Todd Artigue. “So just a better-for-you snack is what we like to say,” said Artigue.

After carefully crafting the recipes, Artigue went to the farmer’s market in an attempt to make money and get his name out there. The first time he ventured out, he didn’t expect to sell much. He was pleasantly surprised by the success from the first day.

“I was making my own snacks for myself, friends, and family, and a friend told us I should go sell them at the farmer’s market,” said Artigue. “So I did back in 2020, and it exploded.”

Artigue sold out the first day and found a niche community that benefited from his snacks: diabetics, people with celiac, and other autoimmune diseases.

The duo knew they would want to expand further, so they threw their hat in the ring for the $50,000 prize from I.D.E.A. WF. So far, they mentioned great benefits from the program.

“It really helped us structure better,” said Artigue. “It helped us with the business plan. It was a great opportunity. So it was just a win-win. Even if we don’t win, it’s a win-win.”

“I didn’t have a clue one on how to start until we got there,” said Mullinex. “It was overwhelming at first, but they just walked us through step by step,” said Mullinex.

The couple endorsed the program and said it really helped them become more well-rounded as businesspeople. They recommend for any entrepreneurs to apply for next year’s program.