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Making Meals Of Out Muffins: New Rochelle Mother/Son Bake Up A Business

New Rochelle residents Debbie Schleien and son Zach are the founders of LIFT Protein Muffins. Photo Credit: Submitted
LIFT Protein Muffins is a family business owned by mother and son Debbie and Zach Schleien. Photo Credit: Submitted

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- A mother/son duo have figured out a way to deliver a meal in a muffin.

New Rochelle residents Zachary Schleien and his mom Debbie, have always enjoyed baking together. When Zach, a certified health coach, started the Paleo diet four and a half years ago, they figured, why not try to create a protein-rich Paleo and gluten-free meal replacement?

The idea involved lots of trial and error but eventually hit its mark. The goal, said Zach, a lifelong baker who now lives in Princeton, N.J., was to fill a need for people who are into eating healthy but also want the convenience of an on-the-go meal.

LIFT Protein Muffins, made up of all natural ingredients such as coconut flour, coconut milk, eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed whey protein, launched online in January and so far, the recipe for success is working. The company has close to $4,000 in sales and is growing.

The muffins, which contain no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, come in three flavors: apple cinnamon, banana chocolate, and chocolate zucchini, and boast 18 to 19 grams of protein. After first starting in their kitchen, the muffins are baked at a commercial kitchen in Poughkeepsie.

Debbie, however, still experiments at home.

Zach said it's been an incredible experience working with his mom. "We are extremely close and it has just made us closer," he said.

"This company would not have been possible without her support. She developed the recipes and has been an incredible business partner."

It helps, he said, that she understands his strengths and weakness and vice versa. 

The muffins are sold online only with the sampler pack being their top-seller (it contains two of each flavor; a total of six muffins). Zach said they are looking at expanding their product line to new muffin flavors and adding seasonal varieties.  

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