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New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
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Billy started ICONIC Protein in 2011. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on ICONIC Protein?
I don’t know about you, but I had most of the fast-food value menus memorized in my late teens and early 20’s. I knew I could get two double cheeseburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, and a frosty for $5 - what a steal! What else are you supposed to do when you’re short on money, time, and don’t know how to cook? I also lived in New Orleans. If you’ve been, you know that no city in the US can touch their food. It’s insane… beignets, fried seafood, broiled seafood, boiled seafood, PO-boys, hurricanes, etc. How can you pass on that? Look, everyone knows that type of food isn’t exactly “good for you”, but it’s delicious and if you work out it basically offsets that, or so I thought.
By the time I was in my mid 20’s, I found out the hard way that working out doesn’t entitle you to a daily menu of donuts, double cheeseburgers, large pizzas, etc.! By the time I hit my mid-twenties, I found myself in a physician’s office as the numerous health issues were finally coming to a head. My doctor informed me that I would need to take pills every day for my acid reflux and high cholesterol, which scared me since all of my grandparents had heart issues with a few deaths from heart-related issues. Something about taking a pill every day at that age just didn’t seem right though.
I decided to seek advice from a Registered Dietitian (Molly Kimball). She informed me that I had another option – clean up my diet! It seemed simple: more protein and fiber to fill me up during the day, and fewer calories and sugar. I said, “Sign me up! Now, what do I buy?” She gave me a list of ingredients to mix up each day and sent me on my way.
The thing with grocery stores (and most other retailers) is that their shelves are already full, so they’re not looking for new products to fill their shelves in most cases. Sales experience really comes in handy here!
Now while this may make total sense for a lot of people, I know myself and know that I usually keep myself too busy to take the time to shop for ingredients, measure everything out and then clean up the mess afterward. Realizing that she wouldn’t recommend any drink on the market, I asked what it would take to make the PERFECT protein drink.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story