To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March we thought we would have a chat with one of the most inspirational women we know - our founder and recipe developer Hayley Hunt. Hayley started The Protein Ball Co. with her husband Matt back in 2015 and she hasn’t stopped rolling since! We ask her what has given her the determination to bring a new protein snack to the market.
My husband Matt and I started another snacking brand calle OLOVES over 10 years ago when we were living in Spain. Then when we moved back to the UK and realised that protein was the next big thing, we decided to do some research into the market. I was always making energy balls using dates and nuts for family snacks so I started working on recipes to incorporate different protein powders as well.
As we had already started a snacking business from scratch we had learnt a lot from previous experience in terms of the sales and marketing side. However the biggest stumbling block for us with The Protein Ball Co. was getting the right machinery to make our protein balls in the first place. Lots of companies said they could provide what we were after but the machines never worked in the way we wanted them to. I think we went through about four or five different machines before we found one that worked for us.
My family - I couldn't do it without them. This includes my fabulous team as well. The passion that everyone has around me is incredible. Everyone has an input from recipe development, photo shoots, product testing to branding and we take on board everyone's ideas. My children love The Protein Ball Company. They try all the new recipes and tell me the truth (that's what children are very good at doing) and we love this! We are all so passionate about food and love to try new healthy things.
4. What other women have inspired you, whether in your professional or personal life?
Gwyneth Paltrow has really inspired me in my personal life. She is such a down to earth mum who is so into her food but always keeps her family in mind. Her recipe book “It’s All Good” really inspired me for meal times. Her book has 185 healthy, easy to cook dishes and my favourite is her Salmon Burgers with Power Brownies for dessert. Cassandra Stavrou who founded one of my favourite snack brands “Propercorn” has also been a massive inspiration to me in my professional life. She has built such an incredible brand that stays up to date with food trends, has an all natural product and has grown in the last 7 years to a multinational company.
5. Have you got any big plans for the future of The Protein Ball Co?
We’re always thinking of our plans for the future and how we can expand our range. I still write all of the recipes myself and test them in my kitchen at home before bringing the recipe to the factory so I am constantly thinking of new flavours we can produce. Watch this space.
6. What is your favourite flavour of protein balls?
Lemon + Pistachio has been my favourite forever. I love the zesty lemon flavour, it’s so refreshing and tastes like a healthy lemon cheesecake. Although our new Raspberry Brownie vegan flavour is quickly becoming my go-to when I need a chocolate hit.