M&A Analyst & CPA Quit Jobs to Sell Chips
Krik Angacian (previously an M&A analyst at Rabobank) and Ryan Wiltse (who used to work as CPA at Ernst & Young) both quit their jobs and pursued their life’s greatest passion and that is to create a protein packed snack for gym rats like them. They started their business with no culinary knowledge and experience, relying solely on their drive to find better alternatives to post work-out protein bars and shakes. Their skill in cooking does not go beyond barbecue and pasta but this did not stop their entrepreneurial spirit.
As per Kirk, putting off their jobs and venturing into selling chips with no lick of experience is crazy. In fact, everything seems to be harder that he thought it will be.
“We made some errors in manufacturing, packaging and other aspects of the business until we found ourselves not knowing what to do next” he says.
However, they are rewarded for their effort. Angacian and his business partner Ryan managed to push through with their trade which started with late night supermarket runs and unpalatable concoctions cooked past 2am. Eventually, after hard work and perseverance, Krik and his former college roommate Ryan discovered ProTings; a chip snack reputed for its 15 grams protein content. Finally, their craving for a good post-workout option was materialized.
It only took 1 year and a half for ProTings to be distributed to at least 1,000 stores resulting to $1 million solicitation for their first funding. Their success is a story of perseverance, something that goes beyond culinary aptitude.
Angacian even called themselves “meatheads” after spending 4 long months of experimentation on their product’s ingredients that they get from Gristedes. These are carefully handpicked which include rice protein, soy protein, flaxseeds, brown rice flour, potato starch and sunflower oil. Early batches of these seeds were sprayed with spam and distributed to their friends for testing. And indeed, they were able to come up with a chip that is not doughy, not surprisingly gross and not weird”.
Though they were defeated in their trademark battle for ‘ProChips”, they turned out successful with “ProTings”. And they came up with such name after a 12 hours brain storming session using a whiteboard with a bottle of Jack Daniels on their side.
ProTing’s bags and logos were designed by Wiltse’s friends. Initially, they rented an affordable commercial kitchen in Brooklyn and purchased a cheap delivery van amounting to $1,200 to keep up with their customers’ demands.
On the succeeding 3 months, they are able to acquire 50 accounts in New York alone. Through hand cooking, they were able to deliver 24 count cases to gyms, health clubs as well as bodegas. Eventually, as their business expanded, they partnered with a real distributor and hired laborers for larger production lines.
By June, ProTings was re-launched, allowing further expansion to both up and down east coast apart from doing regular business at New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. And next year promises more growth in their business as they have made a deal with Vitamin Shoppe VSI -0.59%; a national supplement chain with 275 stores across the country. They also had business arrangement with an Australian distributor.
Now other lines of chips are following Krik and Ryan’s business strategies. Cheerios for example is now marketing their product with protein as part of their ingredients. With this, Angracian plans to add more to the products of “ProFormance Foods” which will also be protein based.
Today, ProTings serves as a good alternative to sickly protein bars. After all, everyone still wants to enjoy munch-able chip flavors like Ruffles, Lay’s and Pringles without compromising their fitness. You may choose among ProTings three flavors namely; Sea Salt, Chili Lime and Tangy Southern BBQ. Their heavy palatable dust coating makes them a good snack after a strenuous workout.