Matt Matros was overweight for the majority of his young life and after losing his father to a heart attack at a young age, he realized he was on the same unhealthy track that lead to his father’s death and decided to change. He changed his diet, eating protein-rich food that gave him the energy to be active. He lost 50 pounds and wanted to help others change their paths but realized it was easier said than done in today’s world of the New York Minute.
With a mission to change the way people eat on the go, he opened the first Protein Bar in Chicago in 2009. His menu revolved around healthy, flavorful choices that could take the place of the typical food-on-the-go options packed with empty calories, sugar, and fat.
Some regulars thought it was such a great plan, they invested in the company, urging Matros to expand Protein Bar’s reach. Since 2009, Protein Bars have popped up in Chicago, Washington D.C., and now, our very own Colorado, with the newest location open April 2 in 29th St. Mall. And did I mention they deliver?
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt; here’s what he had to say:
1. Why did you choose to expand into Colorado?
We have long been targeting Colorado due to the demographic of Coloradans, particularly in Boulder and Denver. They are highly educated, active and seek to live a healthy lifestyle. This is exactly who our target customer is.
2. What’s your favorite thing about the menu?
Our favorite thing about the menu is that we don’t dictate what is “healthy” for your body – we just provide a palette of options and let YOU choose what’s healthiest for you! Every body is different. Vegan or vegetarian? No problem! Love meat? No problem! Gluten-free? No problem!
3. What sets Protein Bar apart from other fast dine-in-or-out restaurants (Noodles & Co., Chipotle)
No matter what time of day it is, there is always a reason to come to Protein Bar. We offer amazing lunch, dinner and snack options. So whether you want a healthy but delicious bar-rito for lunch, a blended drink or raw juice as a mid morning or afternoon snack, or an amazing salad for dinner – we have you covered.
4. How would you describe Protein Bar cuisine?
Our menu is designed to be the healthiest menu you can find since we use only the healthiest, most nutritionally-relevant ingredients available. We let the science of our ingredients do all the talking. Every ingredient has a specific purpose and reason for being on our menu.
5. Boulder has a pretty established food scene, are you at all nervous to join?
We LOVE Boulder and particularly the food scene. Our philosophy is “a rising tide raises all ships” so the more awesome, healthy places the better! It gives customers greater choice and makes all of us continue to innovate
6. Besides Protein Bar, what’s your favorite restaurant and thing on the menu?
The margherita pizza at Pizzeria Locale is second to none. And the whitefish at Frasca was maybe my favorite meal in the least year!
7. What are the details of the original expansion plan? It was funded by a customer who loved Protein Bar?
I opened the original Protein Bar with all of my life savings. But to fund more stores, I needed money. I was able to raise money from customers that loved the concept and invested to help us grow!
Featured image: Protein Bar’s chilled burrito, photo courtesy of Protein Bar