Krik Angacian Serves Up Tasty Protein
SBS clan! For the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing on the Warrior Goddesses who run the fitness and wellness world (SBS socks keeping their feet fabulous, of course). But this week, we’re thrilled to feature our first Warrior Prince Krik Angacian.
A former banker, Angacian trotted along a traditional path, graduating college and nabbing a job in mergers and acquisition before he realized…he was miserable. A life-long fitness junkie, Angacian decided to take a serious dive of faith, so he quit his job and partnered up with his friend Ryan Wiltse to create ProFormance Foods LLC. Their protein chips, ProTings, have proven wildly popular due to their high protein content and—shocker!—amazing taste (the component sorely missing in most other options). The Long Island native sat down with SBS to talk about starting a company in his kitchen, his workout hacks and creating tasty snacks.
SBS: What was the spark that led to ProTings?
Krik Angacian: I always had an idea for a protein chip: When I was in college, I was eating a protein bar, and I didn’t want it anymore. I wanted a bag of chips. But the bar was the protein I needed. I was stuck! The idea stayed with me in the back of my mind. Then, when I was working in finance, I quickly realized, I’m not a banker. I’m a sales guy and a people person. I was working so much—and for someone else—buying and selling food companies. I knew I had to do something different.
SBS: How did you actually create ProTings?
KA: My partner, my best friend Ryan, was a CPA. I called him and asked if he wanted to get out of it. He, of course, responded that he couldn’t stand it. We were both huge fitness guys, so we said, ‘Yes, we can do this.’ We spent four to six months developing them in my kitchen: We’d come home at midnight, cook for three hours, get four hours of sleep and go back to work. We went through hundreds of batches and ingredients and countless terrible iterations! The focus was on protein, and people were buying it for that, but it wasn’t doing well. So, we hired a food scientist and we got the taste and consistency solid, and the amount of waste down to two percent. Protein wants to fight with you, so we had to find a way to make it work—and finally we landed on an amazing combination with a great taste. I think pea protein, which is in ProTings, is the next huge thing in protein.
SBS: How did you build you brand from the ground up?
KA: We quit our jobs, developed the packages, made the product by hand at night, and during the day, we’d go out to stores, demoing, doing everything. That’s what you have to do to succeed. Eventually, with enough effort, we needed a big production line. Now, we’re sold in Kings, Balducci’s, and launching in Wegmans, among many others. We’re in 10 international countries, and the chips are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy free, kosher, high-protein and low carb. Most importantly, they taste good.
SBS: What’s your advice for budding entrepreneurs?
KA: Really make sure you want to do whatever you’re launching, because it is indeed a real challenge. The failure rate is 90 percent that a new company won’t make it past the second year. Now, we’re there, and I finally feel like we won’t go under at every turn. But, you need intense passion about what you’re doing to handle that pressure. And most importantly, be aware of your mindset: I used to have extreme highs and lows, but I learned to keep an even keel. No matter what low you approach, take a step back and breathe. Don’t focus on the problem: Focus on the solution. Sometimes you want to shut down, but remember: You can always figure a way around it.
SBS: What’s your WP fitness routine?
KA: I’m a pretty meat-and-potatoes guy in general. I love to lift, and do squats, dead lifts and exercises on the bench. I get to the gym three or four times a week, for about 40 minutes each session. It’s the highlight of my day most days. I track what I do, and I find that really beneficial. That’s where I started making my gains.
SBS: What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
KA: Wherever I go, the first thing I do is find my local bar, the spot where I can sit down and become friends with the bartenders. That place for me right now is Duck Duck in Brooklyn.
Best Entrepreneur-in-the-Making Books:
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- Guerrilla Selling by Bill Gallagher, PhD, Jay Conrad Levinson and Orvel Ray Wilson, CSP
Favorite Vacation Spots: Sao Paulo and Rio Brazil
Favorite Fitness Tip:
- If you don’t know, just ask. People will help you.
- Consider what you’re trying to achieve before you choose a workout. Are you trying to bulk up? Be lean? Improve your cardio? Tailor your workout to that goal.
Favorite SBS Be Saying: "BE BRAVE-because when you make the decision to leave your steady income job and jump into the unknown abyss of being an entrepreneur, it takes courage, bravery and a willingness to fail without remorse."