What started out of his home kitchen as a healthy snack with a boost of protein can now be purchased at your local Whole Foods store.
FROPRO started out of Matthew Williams’ kitchen. It was 2010 and he was newly sober. He was working in a gym training clients and during his downtime he was meal prepping before it was a trend.
Looking for a snack to help get him through the day, he grabbed staple items from his pantry and whipped up his first bar. It was peanut butter, protein powder, oats, cinnamon and honey.
Now, there are eight flavors with three new ones set to debut this month. Options include vanilla, cacao, coffee, mint, almond, key lime, coconut and PB &J. Vanilla is the most popular flavor. Matthew’s favorite is mint. His wife and co-founder Chelsea’s go-to flavor is almond butter.
The three new flavors are banana crunch, blueberry almond and birthday cake as a limited flavor in honor of Matthew’s birthday on Sept. 22.
“It was a hobby,” Chelsea said of the early days of FROPRO.
Matthew had asked the gym he was working at if he could bring some in for clients to sample. Then the orders began coming in.
Within the next year, they were creating batches in their home kitchen. There was no fancy packaging or labeling. She said it was like when you bake cookies and share them with your friends because you think they taste good.
Then word about the snack began to spread. Their friends told them they should sell the bars. When a local juice bar owner asked Williams to fulfill an order of 100 bars, FROPRO became a decent side hustle.
Williams said he would take orders with a pad of paper and a pen and fulfill them at local juice shops and gyms. In 2013, they created an official LLC. Eventually, Chelsea quit her job and the couple decided to make FROPRO their business.
The company grew slowly and organically through a community-grass roots support system, which is what the couple attributes to its success so far.
They say they are still shocked to learn there are people who buy the bars who are total strangers to them.
A defining moment for Williams and the company was when he ran the New York City Marathon in 2016. His story of getting sober and his road to recovery was the inspiration for a 90-second commercial spot that aired nationally on ESPN after he won the “Real Lives, Real Runners” contest sponsored by FootLocker and ASICS. The name of the film “Second Chances” highlighted his path of recovery.
“It was a pivotal point,” he said.
A year later, FroPro was on the shelves of four Whole Foods locations. By 2018, it was for sale in all Florida stores. Last month, FROPRO was the grocer’s local feature of the month. The company received dedicated articles, social media campaigns and email distribution from Whole Foods.
The packaging just received a fresh, updated look, but the staple silver packaging remains the same.
FROPRO can also be found in Erewhon Market in California and purchased online. The company ships across the country. The couple said the goal is to grow the California market and expand nationwide.
They are now located in Boca and the back of the space houses a gym. When Matthew isn’t concocting new flavors or working out, he is recording his new project, a podcast called “Wake up the Sun.”
The show explores the importance of creating routine, rituals and consistency in your day. He has always been an early riser since becoming sober and so he wakes up the sun.
Featuring guests like Michelle Bazargan, business consultant and advisor, Hannah Ray, certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, and Rob Thomas, owner of CROSSFIT Hype, listeners will gain insight into the practices put into place by highly driven and successful individuals.
“I’m really excited about this new adventure,” he said. “I’m always looking for new opportunities to be creative. I’m feeling really confident behind the mic and looking forward to sharing stories of people in our community who inspire me.”
Listen to the “Wake Up the Sun” podcast: http://www.buzzsprout.com/412663 or on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/035hCKsrmcXtve1n3HskuD