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‘The hard part is done’
by Garrett Valenzuela
Feb 08, 2013 | 5178 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Craig Kincaid, owner of Options 360, displays some of his high-protein, low-calorie muffins Thursday afternoon at One World Kitchen in the Sparks Industrial area.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Craig Kincaid, owner of Options 360, displays some of his high-protein, low-calorie muffins Thursday afternoon at One World Kitchen in the Sparks Industrial area.
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SPARKS -- For years, Craig Kincaid has avoided the shelves of grocery stores, displaying ‘great tasting’ banners across the boxes of protein bars. He knows them to be lies to sell cardboard-tasting snacks.

Kincaid has taken matters into his own hands, concocting high-protein muffins baked from the comfort of his own home. He was surprised to see the looks of fellow gym-goers who were drawn to him eating muffins after a workout.

“I have been making high protein bars for myself for a long time,” Kincaid said, “And the recipe has continually evolved over time, making it better, more tasty and more healthy, too. I am always on that search for more protein.

“Some people at the gym and friends wanted some bars and were asking me for some of the bars I was making at the time. So I put together a product development team, which was mainly friends and family and people from the gym. We went through lots of ideas and it helped improve the product.”

The resulting product, Options 360, became the next step in Kincaid’s life. The retired financial and business analyst began seeking ways he could bring his product to the public and, with the help of his wife, began packaging the basic ingredients used to bake his muffins.

In a single order from Options 360, customers receive a package of basic ingredients (a mix of rolled oats, oat bran, milled flaxseed, protein powder and other additives to make it rise), coconut shavings and chocolate chips individually packaged for customization. Kincaid said the beauty of the product is, as the name suggests, its options.

“By having a basic mix, the customer can add any fruit, yogurt or type of milk to it that they want,” Kincaid said. “There are a few recipes in the baking instructions and I encourage people to take those recipes and branch out and come up with your own tastes and likes because mine are different than everybody else. There are so many options on what you want to do with it.”

Kincaid whips ups batches of his Options 360 muffins inside One World Kitchen, a commercial kitchen in the Sparks Industrial area. Kincaid said he enjoys being able to schedule a couple hours in the kitchen because his product is made on an “as-needed basis” for the time being.

“(SPARKS) is a great place to manufacture. It is a commercial kitchen, I can use it as I need it. It is close to home and this is another little known part of Sparks that is available,” he said. “It’s a commercial kitchen for rent and a great opportunity for people with small businesses.

You can reserve or schedule some time and you can get in and do your thing.”

Kincaid said a great tasting protein source for only 140 calories is hard to come by, and eliminating the cardboard taste was his main goal. Though his products need to be baked, Kincaid said the difficulty has been taken away by thorough instructions and packaging.

“It’s already mixed,” he said. “The hard part is done. All you have to do is mix up what you want in a bowl -- yogurt, milk, fruit -- mix it up, throw it together and it bakes in 20 or 25 minutes or so. The absolute hardest part is waiting for them to cool so you can eat. I would like everyone to cook, make and taste great healthy food and to have a source of healthy nutritious food right there in their pantry.”

Kincaid has been the perfect test subject for his new product as an avid scuba diver, skier, hiker and weight lifter. He said the ability to eat healthy has aided his active lifestyle and he feels anyone who enjoys healthy eating can benefit from his nutritious muffins.

“If you want to be healthy and you want to be strong, you have to eat healthy and this is just a part of that and supplement to eating healthy. The old adage of eating your body weight in protein every day. That is hard to do so I keep them with me as often as possible. After workouts or between ski runs it just helps keep your body going.”

Kincaid said because the business is still in the startup stage, he is managing his sales and shipping online and can do local pickups at Cornerstone Fitness in Reno. He said the website, www.options360.us, is a great place to find new recipes, participate in recipe contests, check out nutrition facts and more.
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