Unstoppable: How Adam Bremen of CanDo Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society With Cerebral Palsy
I never dreamed of starting my own company or becoming an entrepreneur, not necessarily because of my disability, but because I had no experience creating a brand. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome is knowing that it’s OK to not know everything but to choose to learn from those more experienced than you and to hustle and do the best you can.
As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Bremen of CanDo.
Co-Founder of Keto Krisp® protein bars, Adam Bremen has Cerebral Palsy and has used a wheelchair his entire life for mobility. Adam had to go above and beyond to find ways to live an active, healthy lifestyle, and in 2017, he found the keto lifestyle. After eating a keto-based diet, Adam had the energy to start water aerobics and lost 60+ lbs. For something to have such an immense impact on his life, he wanted to do the same for others and did so by launching CanDo, which embodies the spirit of “Life is about what you CanDo, not about what you can’t.” In 2019, brothers Adam and Noah Bremen founded Keto Krisp®, a line of great-tasting, clean protein bars, headquartered in Los Angeles.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
My name is Adam Bremen, and I am the Co-Founder of CanDo, most known for its Keto Krisp line of low-sugar, low-carb protein bars.
In 2016, I moved from Arizona to California after my brother Noah was involved in a home invasion and was shot several times. I picked up immediately to be there to help him through his rehabilitation process. While living in Los Angeles, I fell in love with the wellness culture and was inspired by those dedicated to their health journey. I got involved with an organization called Life Rolls On that helps people with disabilities learn how to surf, and I was blown away by the passion and excitement that the volunteers and athletes had. It made me realize that if I was in better shape, I could do more of these activities, and lead a more active lifestyle. It was right around then that I was introduced to the Keto diet and; more importantly the Keto lifestyle. Along with making radical changes to my diet, I participated in water aerobic exercises 6 days a week. I lost 65 pounds (and counting) and had never felt better! A challenge I came across, however, was finding something to snack on in-between meals. I searched and searched but was not satisfied with what I found on the market; nothing tasted good. This is when I realized there was a real need for a great-tasting Keto bar and started working on Keto Krisp: a protein bar with an unrivaled taste and premium nutrition ingredients.
While it was crucial that I create a delicious product that helps people meet their personal goals, the goal of Keto Krisp, extends far beyond providing a tasty protein bar. I aim to inspire and empower a community of doers, dreamers, and believers to live a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle, every day. Today I play tennis, surf, play pickleball, and do many other things that seemed impossible at one point in my life.
Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you became disabled or became ill? What mental shift did you make to not let that “stop you”?
I was born with cerebral palsy and have used an electric wheelchair my entire life. I have never looked at the chair as an obstacle and always loved when people would stop and ask me questions about it because it showed they cared. From an early age, I made it a choice to focus on the positives. My family instilled in me that life is about what I CAN do versus what I CAN’T. I have always made it a point to get out of my comfort zone and try things that allow me to connect with people and positively impact other people’s lives.
Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your disability or illness ?
I won Athlete of the Year from the Life Rolls On Foundation in 2019, and today, I surf, hike, play tennis, and play pickleball, along with many other sports that I never thought possible!
Additionally, I never dreamed of starting my own company or becoming an entrepreneur, not necessarily because of my disability, but because I had no experience creating a brand. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome is knowing that it’s OK to not know everything but to choose to learn from those more experienced than you and to hustle and do the best you can.
What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?
There have been a ton of hardships in my life, outside of having cerebral palsy, however, I chose to wake up each day with a positive attitude and drive to also do better. I’ve embraced my wheelchair and the body I was given and have made the very best of it by creating a company that aims to do the very best for people. I hope that my “Can Do” story inspires other people with disabilities or limitations to be true to themselves, push through hardship, and use their influence (however big or small) to help others and make an impact. Life is all about seeing abundant opportunities as opposed to potential limitations. If I can inspire even just one person to think about their journey this way, I’ll be doing my part.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
My father, Barry Bremen, is my biggest hero and biggest supporter my whole life until he passed away in 2011. He was always championing me to live life to the fullest and never let my disability limit my goals or aspirations; along with the rest of my family, he is the reason for my Can Do attitude. He was known in the sports world as The Great Imposter in the 70s. He posed as a player in the MLB, NBA, NFA, and PGA, acted as NHL referee and was even a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader for a moment in time. He became known as a sports ultimate fan but also lived out the dreams of legions of failed high school all-stars and armchair quarterbacks across the nation. His zest for life and fun-loving attitude inspires me to live with that same sentiment.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Starting CanDo allowed me to develop not only great-tasting protein bars but a platform for people to share their CanDo stories — whether they’re keto or not, disabled or not, etc. I am personally committed to helping other people realize their potential and dreams any way I can and CanDo is the perfect platform to be able to do that through.
On our website, we share “CanDo Chronicles” which features people from all walks of life that have extraordinary stories and are a hero in their own right. Big or little, we invite people to be able to share their stories with our growing community. We also have the “CanDo Podcast” which shares stories about inspiration, dreaming big, achieving success, and becoming a champion with the hope of helping you be your best self.
We also partner with Life Rolls On as our official charity partner, donating 1% of profits in hopes of allowing even more people with disabilities the opportunity to skate and surf again, or for the first time ever.
Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.
People with physical limitations want to be treated like everybody else and enjoy life. We don’t want to be singled out.
We have the same visions and goals as people without limitations.
Having a physical limitation is not a limitation.
Every person in the world has a special gift to share with the world.
Everyone deserves love and support.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
I mentioned this earlier, but one of my all-time favorite “life lessons” is “It’s about what you can do, not what you can’t.” My parents instilled this mentality in me at a very early age, and it has carried me through many ups and downs in my life.
Another one is “It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice.” No one close to me in my life has ever put me in a corner; I always felt included, no matter what, especially with my family. That inclusiveness helped me grow into who I am today, and create CanDo, which embraces everyone, everywhere, and encourages people to share their “CanDo” stories.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
I would love to sit down with the great Michael Jordan. Despite his insane athletic ability, his work ethic, will-to-win attitude, charisma, and overall competitive attitude is awe-inspiring to me.
Thank you for these excellent insights. We wish you continued success in your great work.
Unstoppable: How Adam Bremen of CanDo Has Redefined Success While Navigating Society With Cerebral… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.