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Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect?

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tony Leonardi, Co-Founder of Muscle Up Bars, LLC., located in Newtown, CT, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The Original Muscle Up Bar was developed by a pair of masters athletes who couldn't find an existing protein bar on the market that met their nutritional requirements: high protein, low sugar, no chemicals, and no aftertaste.

"We developed our own recipe in the kitchen, mixing in some of our favorite ingredients. We started with grass-fed, pasture-raised protein and sweet potato (Mother Nature's perfect carbohydrate). The result was not only delicious, but it also had ideal nutritional balance." 16g protein/8g sugar.

Tell us about yourself

We started making homemade protein bars in our kitchen after Tony had a dream about making protein bars with mashed sweet potatoes. He couldn't get the idea out of his head, so he gave it a try. The result was amazing and delicious, high in protein and low in natural sugar. We are motivated every day to help educated people about nutrition and the importance of ready labels, and understanding what you put in your body.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Starting a business from scratch in our kitchen and, in short order, becoming a national brand and the Official Protein Bar of USA Weightlifting has been a tremendous accomplishment beyond what we even believed was possible.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a business owner is a 24/7 job. You never stop thinking about your business, how to grow the brand, how to educate consumers, how to pay your bills, and how to treat your customers. It truly is all-encompassing.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Do a lot of research on your product or service idea to make sure that you are truly filling a need in the marketplace. Most businesses fail because the need doesn't exist for that particular product or the need is already being filled by another company. Don't be afraid to ask for help as often as possible. Try to learn from others who have gone before you. Learn from their mistakes. Finally, constantly strive to educate yourself. There is so much to learn today in terms of digital marketing, advertising, social media, etc., and it's constantly changing.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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