Before Stephen Lincoln created his unique vision for The Protein Bakery in New York, he was a fitness instructor on the low carbohydrate, high-protein diet.
He reveals how he turned his snack frustration into a successful business.
“Every morning I used to order a grande latte in Starbucks and drool over pastries, which I knew I shouldn’t eat. I realized there were a lot of people doing the exact same across America, where low-carb, high-protein diets are very popular.
From working in gyms, I knew whey protein is popular among bodybuilders because it is easily absorbed, so I got in the kitchen with a friend of mine and we started baking. We use flour from rolled oats instead of white flour to reduce the carbs and increase dietary fiber. This also made the cookies suitable for people with wheat allergies. And way before became a "thing," all my recipes have been gluten-free.
I’m the kind a guy that if I set my mind to something, I will follow through. So in less than 30 days, the newly-formed Protein Bakery had an initial menu of delicious, high-protein, reduced-carb cookies and brownies, packaged and ready to sell. The first store manager that tasted them ordered $700 worth.
“At that stage, I didn’t even have a commercial kitchen to cook them in! But thankfully I found one soon enough. In no time at all, the business started took off. At first we would work all night, one night a week to fill orders, then the demand got so big we contracted the baking out.”
“We now make around 15,000 snacks a week. From the original cookies and brownies, I've added blondies, minis and to-order Celebration Cakes. It takes a workforce of 15 people from start to finish. As large as the production has gotten, we still do make everything by hand, in small batches.“
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