Hello! My name is Anthony, COO of Planet Protein.
Growing up with Tourette’s Syndrome wasn’t the worst sentence I could have faced. I was lucky as always to have my family behind me, a safe community, and never a day of hunger faced. That’s not suffice to say that life was perfect. A neurological disorder is what it is, but the gratitude directed towards the fortunate world provided for me kept me honest.
One of the not so unfortunate byproducts of growing up with a mind like mine was the juxtaposition of a strong mind and body, bookending the very obvious inner child that governed my life. Often as a young adult I woke up and felt like my 6-year-old self dressing in a mech suit.
When I was brainstorming what to add to Lauren’s blog I had to put a keen eye on the versatile nature of her work. Vegan nutrition and the plant based is obviously a central theme. I didn’t want to waste the space she had carved out, but one angle always stood out to me – family.
Without any children of my own, but a gift for working with them, I wanted to describe the state of affairs during my 2 years of Pre-K instruction in Bonita Springs, Florida. It was one of the best jobs I ever had. Even with a mighty future before me as the Chief Operating Officer of Planet Protein, there is nary a moment happier than watching the lessons I imparted resonate with the children.
Beginning with the close bond I have with my own mother, and my long history of getting through to kids, I wanted our vegan protein to be the official snack of diaper bags everywhere! I’ve worked a myriad of brutish blue collar jobs to get by as I stumbled through young adulthood, but few where I inexorably STARVED as much as I did as a Pre-K teacher. It’s not as if I burned more calories than I did loading trucks, cooking on the line, or painting forklifts. It was just something about that job that had me ravenously hungry no matter how much I ate beforehand.
I’d eat and eat and eat and by the end of the first hour I was foraging in the kitchen for whatever was up for grabs. After a few bags of cereal downed, I was reprimanded for eating the snacks for the 1 year olds! Despite the comedy of snatching the leftover granola for the babies, the hunger was real.
Planet Protein was founded to meet our CEO Brenden’s individual need for a high density, clean vegan snack. When building an audience of compatible customers, one would imagine that the intrepid athletes would be our first thought. As I saw the remarkable difference a truly fulfilling protein bar made, I went right to the moms of the world. If I was constantly hungry teaching kids, I can only imagine what bringing a few home is like! My mother is my hero. She embodies every quality a young man could ever want in a parent. There are few if any positive traits I’ve grown into that weren’t a result of her guidance. For that reason, knowing I am a challenge to this day (almost 30, yikes!) the exceptional sacrifice mothers make from conception to the very end is something I personally revere.
It means more to me to see the mother’s raising our future utilizing the purpose of our bars than it ever would with anyone else.
PS – Thank you again to Lauren Nastasi for a window into her wonderful blog. It’s always an honor to work alongside vegans out in the digital world. Hope to meet someday! Find me on IG @chefoperatingofficer. =)