20 YEARS LATER...

Back in 1996, nobody cared what was trending, the phrase "phone booth" was still in play and so were the quarters needed to operate it. New York City was a melting pot on full-boil—a hot bed of art and creativity. My "shiny key." I traveled from San Francisco with nothing but hopes, dreams and the money I had from selling my car. Luckily, my best friend since high school lived here and I was able to stay with him. This would mark the beginning of my true adult life.

I was determined to shine on stage, star in films and use my years of theater training to their fullest potential. I arrived primed for a casting call (and a curtain call). And the city did not disappoint. In three short months, I had a bunch of agents interested in sending me on auditions, I made the cover of a magazine, I did an off-off Broadway show and I met and became a personal trainer of Marianne Williamson, my spiritual guru. I was hired to teach classes in nationally respected gyms. Thanks to fitness, I was on my feet. (Financially, as well.) I was pushing myself so I could pursue my passion. 

This journey to New York helped me find that focus.

While I have not become the toast of Broadway (yet), I realize I've become the star of my own life. It takes center stage. I created a unique bakery and I have the leading role in its success. I've channeled all my creative energy into it. And like all good parts, I never stop learning what I am capable of. I'm so grateful to have become the entrepreneur I was meant to be. Walking into the bakery every day is a passion play for me.

So why this trip down memory lane? Because in my heart of hearts, I know who I am now has everything to do with my history. Walking down a New York street, I can't help but be reminded. The cast-iron building right next to one made of glass and steel. Inexplicably, it all works. Just like me. 

I'm open to any and all the great things to come. And they will, because I'm living life to its fullest. On my terms. My many paths have led me here. My creative expression doesn't only exist on stage. It's reflected at the bakery—whether launching a new flavor or tweaking a classic. And that's a role I can sink my teeth into...literally.

This April Fool's Day marks my 20th year here and, no fooling, there will be more than 20 to come. 

The Protein Bakery 20 Years Later


Stephen Charles Lincoln

Author