How did peanut butter toast cravings grew into an international business selling Australia’s best keto bread?
In 2010 I was working as a personal trainer while running my own cafe – The Whole Meal Cafe in Darlinghurst, in the heart of Sydney.
While running between my two jobs, I started to notice that a lot of my clients and customers were switching their diets to low-carb based diets. As someone who has always wanted the best for my clients and customers, I started researching everything about low-carb diets to see if it was going to work and stick, or just be a total fad and disappear when the next diet craze came along.
Fast forward to now, and it’s safe to say that a low carb lifestyle is here to stay.
At first, I thought switching to a low carb diet was going to be daunting for some of my clients, but they were achieving some phenomenal results by simply cutting out carb-heavy foods such as bread, pasta, rice and sugars. And instead, they were opting for a diet packed full of meat, seafood, veggies, nuts, seeds & dairy.
And best of all, my clients were feeling the best they had ever felt. I kept listening to their experiences with low carb diets, kept going with my research and quickly became hooked as following a low carb diet started to make total sense.
When I thought about it, a low carb diet is similar to what we would have eaten hundreds of thousands of years ago – back to when we were hunter-gatherers, gathering our own fruit, vegetables and meat sources.
It’s only in recent times that foods have become overly processed and made with ‘convenience’ as the leading factor, not our health or nutrition. Our foods today are packed with sugar & starches, which are cheap fillers and preservatives (not to mention addictive).
So I kept reading and listening to the benefits of a low carb diet which came with zero negative impacts and decided to try it for myself.
My experience with a low carb diet…
I wrote a low carb high protein meal plan for 2 weeks. This plan included lots of easy high protein low carb foods such as Meat, Chicken, Fish, Seafood, Nuts, Cheeses, Yoghurt, Seeds, and heaps of veggies, mainly green veggies as these were the lowest carb. I removed from my diet high carb foods including added sugars, honey, rice malt syrup & maple syrup, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and cereals.
After the first 2 weeks, I was feeling great. I had more energy, lost a few Kj’s easily & my moods were more stable and positive – I was sold.
BUT! I had a small problem….
Breakfast and snacks!
I was really struggling with breakfast and snack options. Cooking bacon and eggs each morning really wasn’t practical, not to mention the thought of eating another egg made me feel sick.
Lunch and Dinner were quite simple, just some grilled meat or fish and veggies, or a nice large stir-fry, but breakfast was another story.
Missing toast… 😩
What do you eat for breakfast, when you’ve grown up loving peanut butter toast, cereal and orange juice??? What do you eat for snacks when you eliminate fruit and can’t grab a muffin or banana bread from a cafe?
So I asked around my clients and customers – and they were all feeling the same.
“I can cut out Pasta, Potatoes, Rice and Sugar so easily, but I just can’t give up my bread!”
“Bread is so convenient and tasty, I crave my peanut butter toast each morning, it’s my only downfall.”
This got me very curious.
Could I create a bread that had just 1g of carbs per slice? Compared to regular bread that has between 15-20g of carbs per slice. If I could create this, this would actually be a miracle. It would be the lowest carb bread in Australia and I would be able to enjoy my toast each morning whilst experiencing all the benefits of low carb eating – double win!
The very first batches…
Being the optimist that I am, I started researching ingredients straight away.
The first challenge I had to overcome was how to bake a low carb bread without any wheat, gluten, sugar, yeast or flours?!
I somewhat overcame this by starting simple. I read about the benefits of Golden Flaxmeal, a new ingredient that is high in omega 3&6, low in carbs and high in fats and got to work putting the ingredient to use.
My first recipe was a concoction of the golden flax meal, whey protein, eggs and olive oil.
My family (who were official taste testers at the time),described them as ‘concrete pellets.’
Not really a success by any definition, however I kept going. It could only get better right?!
Over the following year, I constantly researched and tested ingredients, mixing up little batches at home and baking at the cafe before my shifts.
I’d give some to the customers to taste and get feedback.
Gradually, over time, the customers’ reactions improved – and they actually started asking for it.
People even wanted to buy loaves of it to take home!!
The start of the ready-made loaves…
And so Protein Bread – and Australia’s Lowest Carb Bread was born.
I initially baked and sold the loaves through my cafe, but I couldn’t keep up with the demand. It was crazy to see how many people were keen to buy a $20 loaf of bread!
Over the following 2 years, I went from mixing batches of low carb/ keto bread (which would only make 3 loaves at a time) in my small apartment, to packing and selling the bread mix online, so I could meet the demands of consumers all around Australia.
Demand for the low carb/ keto bread became so popular, that I had to stop working at the cafe and as a PT. Don’t get me wrong – we weren’t totally swamped with orders, but the orders we were getting was the motivation I needed to make Protein Bread work….it was seriously a jump in the deep end!
Over the years we’ve tried and failed at so many things, but with each hurdle, hiccup and failure a clearer path was made for PBCo.
Where we are today…
I’m so proud to say that today PBCo employs 15 people, we operate here in Sydney across our two gluten-free manufacturing facilities and we create products that help not only those who are following a low carb diet, but also those who are looking for keto bread, pancakes, cookies, or low carb food options, gluten-free foods and diabetics.
We’ve created not only just a low carb/ keto bread mix but a whole host of products to answer that question of what’s on offer for those high protein low carb breakfasts or what is there to snack on with the likes of baking mixes and endless recipe ideas!
What keeps me going after all of the years, is you. Your testimonials, your support and your belief in us. It’s a huge privilege and honour to serve you and you keep me inspired to provide healthier options to enable you to live and feel your best.
And who would have thought after all this time something as basic as my love for peanut butter on toast could have turned into an international business?!
- As the founder of PBCo. and Mum to an energetic toddler, Anna is an advocate for low carb living because it gives her the energy and vitality to power through long days, feeling great.
Anna is passionate about making low carb living easy, enjoyable and economical, and believes that everyone deserves to feel their best!