FitCloud Interviews The Protein Bakery

Jan 24, 2015Stephen Charles Lincoln

We all have cravings! Dieting and a clean-eating lifestyle can make it challenging, but with The Protein Bakery, you can indulge your craving for sweets without feeling the guilt. Just like the name suggests, Their delicious treats are packed with protein and are creating quite a buzz, featured by Oprah, Dr. Oz and in numerous health magazines. The Protein Bakery store is based in New York City and this one-stop sweet spot delivers to global customers online and retailers, nationwide. We spoke with owner Stephen Lincoln for some insight on exactly how his love of health, helping and happiness is in each baked good he makes.

FitCloud: What makes your products unique, and what can customers expect when they eat with The Protein Bakery?

The Protein Bakery owner, Stephen Lincoln: What's unique is the high level of whey protein concentrate! It's in the title for a reason. Protein is essential to good health and has been a missing component in snacks - delicious satisfying snacks, at least. So, in 1999, I created a bakery with recipes that were high-protein, all natural, wheat flour-free, gluten-free and kosher. I started with cookies and brownies and expanded to include blondies, minis and recently cakes and shakes. I want each item to be the best, fresh-baked bite of your snack life. My inspirations come from my favorite bakeries in my favorite cities — New York and San Francisco, as well as through my travels in Europe. I wanted each batch to taste as if my grandma made them. Only my version is much, much healthier for you. Handmade, the finest, fresh ingredients, with no trans fat and no preservatives.

FC: You have been in the health and fitness industry for many years, what made you want to start a bakery?

SL: About 25 years ago, I lost 82 pounds by taking group fitness classes and changing the way I ate. However, I've always had a sweet tooth and didn't like feeling deprived. Being Italian, I'm a foodie from birth and love the different tastes this world has to offer. I wanted to strike a balance between total decadence and total cardboard. By replacing white sugar with organic brown sugar, white flour with oat flour and adding whey protein concentrate, I balance the playing field so everyone can enjoy a "real" cookie from time to time. With the wide selection from The Protein Bakery, you can have your cake and eat it too. (Now literally, since we make Celebration Cakes.)

FC: Customers have written great reviews on your products, what do you think the benefits are from eating a healthy diet and having a clean-eating lifestyle?

SL: You simply feel better. The human body is just like a sophisticated car engine. You need to put the right fuel in it so it can reach its peak performance, and you have to maintain all its moving parts. Well, the body is no different. By choosing healthier options, you run more effectively, you think more clearly. Even the smallest tweak can have a major impact.

FC: What do you hope to impart on your clients for their own individual health and fitness success?

SL: To just do better. We all know when we're making a bad choice and sometimes we regret it afterwards. If we don't regret it, we say, “Well, that's just the way it is,” and then we wonder why we haven't lost those five pounds or why our joints hurt or why we keep getting the same results. Making the choice to eat a little cleaner, push our limits a little further or move a little more will come back in a positive way, time and time again. A better result starts with how you "see" the problem and filters down (or up!) from there. And be open to change — I'm always inspired by my clients and the choices they make.

FC: What is the most important facet of the health and fitness industry that you feel your customers, or anyone with their own health and fitness business, should know?

SL: I love this question. The answer to me is to take your inspiration where you can find it and run with it. The fitness industry is actually extremely young, and because it has grown so rapidly, people are just as quick to glom onto the "newest thing." What's hot? What's trending? The truth is, there is no new muscle group, and there is no single way to get and stay healthy. Every body is different. We can't all get there the exact same way. So, the next time you're hot to take a class that makes you run in place while holding grocery bags and balancing a book on your head, make sure your body will really benefit from or even withstand such a workout. I'm not discounting new methods, but sometimes it's window dressing - that time spent lifting weights mixed with mindful cardio may serve your body better.

FC: What motivates you (and your company) on a daily basis?

SL: I do my best to live my life with a critical eye. Form and function, design and passion, are always at the forefront of whatever I'm doing personally and professionally. I could be walking down a city street and get inspired by the way the lights reflects off the pavement after a rainy day. That pattern could wind up in a bakery photo shoot. Who knows. It makes me feel better when I am contributing something that is uniquely mine. That has my sensibility. I never want to feel like I'm going through the motions… in any area of my life. I love all things visual, even if it has nothing to do with the bakery world. Art, music, dance, textiles— how people express themselves is fascinating to me. I appreciate following their thought process, even if I don't necessarily like the result. I know how difficult it is to be innovative. I am a big fan of the human spirit.

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