When Seth Lagana cooked up a batch of healthy baked goods six months ago, he wasn’t necessarily out to impress his girlfriend, Lindsay Beck. He never imagined a few hours in the kitchen could potentially turn the couple into millionaires.
He simply wanted to make tasty protein-packed, gluten-free muffins — the type that didn’t leave a chalky texture in his mouth.
But he did surprise Beck. And he believes he did set the two 27-year-olds on a path to become millionaires by the time they are 30 — a goal they both had half-jokingly set for themselves.
“Everything has just fallen into our laps, which is odd,” Lagana said.
He fed his muffins, cupcakes and macaroons to his friends and family, who immediately asked for more. He posted his baked goods on Instagram and instantly received orders.
“My friends, my family, they gave me accolades, they gave me confidence,” Lagana said.
The couple branded their product “Manbake Beefcakes.” It made sense: Lagana is a muscular, heavily tattooed baker, so the name encapsulates his personality and what he produces in the kitchen. He is also a health nut and frequent visitor to the gym.
“It’s kind of ironic; it’s a funny irony,” Lagana said, referring to the image of an inked brawny man baking cupcakes in a commercial kitchen at McLeod Drive and Sunset Road.
Once licensed, Lagana and Beck set out for farmers’ markets and began selling such products as the coconut almond fudge muffins. Their packaging is simple and to the point: “Vegeterian. Gluten-free. Carb conscious. Pre- and post-workout.”
Customers gobbled them up, purchasing bags of three muffins for $5.
“These cupcakes are full of protein; they’re for people who have a sweet tooth but are really into fitness,” Lagana said. “We’re locals and we’re trying to make Las Vegas more progressive when it comes to health and nutrition.”
The couple recently landed a contract with the Las Vegas Athletic Club, which will begin selling the baked goods in their shops. Lagana believes it is a perfect match because he’s a “huge gym guy” and so are thousands of other Southern Nevada residents.
He is also confident that as word gets around about his protein cake bites, he and Beck will be a few steps closer to their lofty financial goal.
While they appear to be inching their way to great success, the path has not been easy. Most of the pricey hurdles included licensing and approval from the health district and getting the nutritional facts approved.
Beck and Lagana had to secure various licenses from different jurisdictions — each about $300 — even if, for example, the farmers’ markets where they set up shop are only a couple of blocks from each other.
In other words, the government hasn’t been too helpful. Still, Lagana is proud that his product is truly made in the United States; made in Las Vegas.
“America used to be known for making its own products,” he said. “In our country, ‘Made in the U.S.’ meant something.”
Thanks to that one day in the kitchen, it still does.