Scott & Lori: Founded in 2020, our protein balls were created by Co-Founder and CFO Scott Levine for his wife Lori Levine who, after a battle with breast cancer, was looking for a clean, soy-free, low sugar snack she could take on the go instead of the protein bars she was accustomed to eating. Lori, CEO, wanted a clean and healthy alternative that didn’t sacrifice taste, so she decided to launch Scott’s Protein Balls as a business. It started as a labor of love but became a business by accident due to strong demand for healthier snacks.
My Cancer Family: Since Lori was diagnosed, why was it important to have a clean, plant-based diet?
Scott and Lori: Certain ingredients can almost act as “fuel” for unhealthy cells. Minimizing these ingredients or finding satisfying replacements is an important step to live a healthy lifestyle. Soy, sugar and gluten should be avoided. Our newest flavor (Peanut Butter Cup) is making its debut next weekend at the Fancy Food Show in New York City and includes even more immune-boosting ingredients, including pea protein, broccoli seed powder and chia powder.
My Cancer Family: I know a lot of people adjust things after a cancer diagnosis – especially nutrition, did you find it difficult or was it easy for you? How did you make the adjustments? Can you please share wisdom / advice on how to do this if someone is overwhelmed and wants to make the change?
Scott and Lori: Small steps in the right direction are important or it can truly be overwhelming. I was always eating on the go and grabbing protein bars. I didn’t realize just how unhealthy many of them are. Of course, now I eat the balls on the go, but after my diagnosis I paid much more attention to ingredients and made small changes. In addition to eating better, I make it a goal to get to the gym at least 4 times a week. This keeps both my body and my mind in shape. I also think we can only do the best we can and don’t be hard on yourself if you struggle making these adjustments despite the diagnosis.
My Cancer Family: It’s so hard to start a new business, especially a new food brand, especially during the pandemic, how were you able to do it?
Scott and Lori: I am an accidental entrepreneur. Neither Scott nor I are in the food industry and have (and had) traditional careers. Life threw me a lemon and I found my mission from the diagnosis. Of course, we have since created a village of experts working with us -from nutritionists to food industry experts that are helping us on our journey. COVID, as challenging as it was for everyone, also gave us time we normally wouldn’t have had and I used that time to launch a business while spending time with my family. Perhaps that is the silver lining from the pandemic but so many people suffered during that time; I understand that.
My Cancer Family: What products or other foods do you recommend for others on a cancer journey?
Scott and Lori: Smoothies made with your favorite fruits and vegetables.I believe that fiber is important, so I try to eat foods with a lot of fiber. I get GG crackers (the pumpkin seed flavor is a fave) and put eggs on them or make pizza (low fat/ low salt cheese, of course) with them.
My Cancer Family:- Scott’s protein balls look delicious, how were you able to find the right combination of protein, plant-based and clean and yummy?
Scott and Lori: There was a lot of trial and error and many tossed batches before we got it right and we are continuing to add superfood ingredients all the time. We also consulted with nutritionists and experts. We now have Our newest flavor, Peanut Butter Cup, which brings us to a total of eight varieties. Other flavors include Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Cacao, Mint Chocolate Chip, Brownie Batter, Confetti, Snickerdoodle and Java Peanut Butter.
My Cancer Family: – What is 1 sentence you want people to know about Scott’s protein balls?
Scott and Lori: We give a percentage of our sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!