The once thriving gayborhood in NYC called Chelsea may not be the same as it once was but there are gay-owned small businesses in the changed neighborhood that are making a difference. Corey Wesley and I recently met the owner of The Protein Bakery, Stephen Charles Lincoln.
With a mantra of “everyone deserves a cookie,” the charming Stephen Charles Lincoln has been bringing his customers delicious snack satisfaction since 1999. No stranger to the press, there has been plenty of “sweet talk” about Stephen and The Protein Bakery; from Dr. Oz, to Oprah, to Men’s Fitness, and a slew of other lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness magazines, it’s clear he has made a positive impact.
Stephen has used his own personal experience as a pathway to being where he is today. On his journey he lost 82 pounds and moved to New York to help others find balance in themselves. Having worked as a fitness instructor and program director in the city’s top gyms helped him develop his vision even further. When Corey Wesley and I recently spoke with Stephen he shared with us that in his gym life he would always struggle finding snacks that were both nutritious and delicious. Since he couldn’t find any that suited him, he created his own.
Drawing upon family recipes Stephen developed his products using high-quality whey protein concentrate which helps stabilize blood sugar, fills you up faster, and helps maintain lean body mass. Although they are not certified gluten-free, The Protein Bakery treats are all natural and kosher with no wheat, no gluten, and no trans fats. What also makes these delectables stand out is they are protein-packed. Making them even more special is they are baked in small batches by hand.
Perfectly nestled right in the middle of 23 different gyms and fitness centers, the flagship store at 144 West 19th Street (between 6th and 7th) is in what some are calling the Fitness District. The intimate, airy shop offers the full menu of cookies, brownies, blondies, and minis in all your favorite flavors, like coconut walnut dark chocolate chip blondie, peanut butter brownie, chocolate chip cookie, and chocolate chocolate white chip cookie. And if you can’t make it to the store, you can find them in plenty of bodegas and speciality shops throughout the city, or you can purchase them online 24/7. A pack of two cookies retails for $3.00 to $4.00. You don’t have to eat them right away either. These healthy cookies, brownies, and minis have a shelf life of two weeks at room temperature or you can freeze them for up to three months.
I tasted the chocolate chocolate white chip cookies and they were indeed delicious. They were a bit dense but tasted as I expected, like a cookie and not a protein bar. They also were not as sweet and sugary tasting as a cookie might be. I’ll definitely be going back for more.
The Protein Bakery has been very successful to date. This year they have branched out into new areas including shaking things up with protein shakes in Blondie, Brownie, and Cookie flavors, designed with their protein partner, The System By Stacy. You simply add the liquid, be it water or milk or coffee, shake it up and you’re ready to go. Stephen has also teamed up with Elisa’s Love Bites Dessert Atelier to offer a line-up of protein-packed specialty Celebration Cakes in celebration of the store’s 1st year anniversary.