Creating Culture with Jess Cerra, Founder of JoJé Bar, Event Director for Last Best Ride, and Gravel Pro
In episode 7, we have a meaningful conversation with Jess Cerra, who lives in Whitefish, CA. Years ago, Jess moved to San Diego to complete her Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. While working in the lab on her thesis, she accidentally discovered that she had an “Olympic level” Vo2 max. Her professor introduced her to mountain biking and Xterra Triathlons, where she won an Ametuer National Championship. After surgery for iliac artery endofibrosis, Jess found herself on a road bike to gain back fitness. She stuck with the road bike, competed in road races as a Cat 2 athlete, before getting her first Pro contract. To support her racing, she was also a personal chef and owned her own catering company called “Fit Food by Jess.” Eventually, Jess founded JoJé Bar, a certified gluten-free energy bar made with wholesome real-food ingredients. After years of building the company, she reached a point where she sold JoJé Bar to Alete Active Nutrition, where she is currently the Vice President of Product & Community Development. During this time, Jess started transitioning from Pro roadie to Pro gravel racer, with more focus on enjoyment than results. She and her partner, Sam, also moved back to her hometown in Whitefish, Montana. In 2021, she and Sam also created The Last Best Ride (TLBR), a community-driven gravel event that showcases their home in Whitefish. An important component of the TLBR is the scholarship program Jess has created, which awarded $21,000 to high school girls in her hometown. This year, the program has grown and expanded! This episode is inspiring as we learn one woman’s story about how hard work, self-belief, and a positive village can help meaningful projects, companies, and events come to life and flourish.
GMM is funded by NICA National with support from Rapha Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and Continental Tires. Also, the folks at The Gravel Lot, another wonderful podcast, have spent countless hours helping us!
Follow Jess Cerra on Instagram: @jesscerra
Check out the Last Best Ride: https://www.thelastbestridemt.com/
Follow the Last Best Ride on Instagram: @thelastbestride
Buy JoJé Bars (our favorite is the Lemon Blueberry Quinoa): https://jojebar.com/collections/joje-bar
Learn more about NICA, GRiT, and getting #morekidsonbikes and #moregirlsonbikes here: https://www.nationalmtb.org
Jen Malik is the League Director for the Ohio League. Learn more about the Ohio League here: https://www.ohiomtb.org
Nikki Peterson is the League Director for the Nevada League. Learn more about the Nevada League here: www.nevadamtb.org