Summerlin entrepreneur explores protein bread market


Anyone trying to lose weight knows the importance of protein. That means eating more meat, more cottage cheese and more bread.

That's right, bread.

Gregg Leighton ---- a former Mr. USA and Mr. Universe ---- has teamed with local specialty baker Carlos Pereira to create ProBread. Each slice has 17 grams of protein.

Leighton isn't just a walking advertisement for barbells. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in nutrition. He admits that his was a self-serving quest.

"Being in the fitness industry for 30 years and competing all over the world, I got tired of drinking protein shakes," Leighton said.

Besides, he added, nutrition and the vitamin industries are adding more and more chemicals.

William Pfersching is the chef at Red Rock Country Club, 2250-A Red Springs Drive, and had input into the recipe. He often serves the eight-grain, three-seed ProBread as part of the weekend offerings. Using it to make French toast, he said, has been particularly successful.

"So far, people have really liked it," he said. "A lot of times, they don't realize it's protein bread. People will eat the whole thing without taking the time to read the little card. That's the best attribute about the bread, in my mind. It's so healthy for you, yet it doesn't taste ... bland, dry or have that barely-get-it-down-your-throat taste."

The recipe was perfected after two years in testing. At first, the crust wasn't crusty enough. Then they had it too sweet, then not sweet enough. All in all, the ingredient ratio was adjusted 15 to 20 times.

ProBread is made by hand rather than by machine. The main ingredient is an eight-grain, three-seed combination. The pH level is low. Both factors promote a longer shelf life. Plus, it's made with molasses honey and very little sugar, inhibiting the growth of mold.

Even so, the FDA mandates that they claim a shelf life of seven to 14 days. Leighton said it's more like four weeks, six months if refrigerated ... but don't expect results like that.

"Because more than likely, your buddy will eat it up well before then," he joked.

The partners already have it selling in Florida. In Las Vegas, Freddie's Nutrition stores are its No. 1 seller. Page Maguire is the manager of the Freddie's at 9701 W. Flamingo Road.

"A lot of people tell me that they give it to their friends," she said. "It's really big with their elderly clients. They get upset if we don't have it."

It's also sold at the Freddie's Nutrition at 7985 W. Sahara Ave., as well as Anytime Fitness, 7060 N. Durango Drive, and Yak's Fitness, 7375 S. Durango Drive.

Leighton said he wanted to supply schools so children get more nutritious meals. He's reaching out to AARP and other groups that deal with retirement-age people, as they need to keep up their nutritional intake.

He said the Red Cross is another potential market.

"... Because when they have a disaster, you can't feed people steaks," Leighton said. "And the military, we're trying to get in with the military, too."

Next up are protein croutons to add to one's salad. He expects it to be out this year.

For more information, visit probreadlasvegas.com.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

 

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