Interview: LIFT Protein Muffins

An interview with Zach Schleien, Co-Founder of LIFT Protein Muffins.

1) Tell me about the origins of the company.

My mom and I started LIFT Protein Muffins two and a half years ago. I was starting my Masters in Information Management from Syracuse University and was given a scholarship to launch my own startup while attending classes. Being a proponent of the Paleo diet, my mom and I agreed to start a Paleo muffin company. That is how LIFT was born. My mom experimented with many different ingredients and we taste-tested ten iterations of our banana chocolate muffin before perfecting the recipe. Once we perfected it, we gave out samples to friends and family. Following a consensus that people loved our muffins, we started a Kickstarter campaign. Within 30 days we raised over $5,000, two times our goal. Getting back to present day, we have now secured a co-packer and ship throughout the United States.

2) What makes the muffins sufficient as meal replacements? Many people associate meal replacements with diets that are too restrictive and aren’t healthy lifestyle changes. Why are LIFT protein muffins different?

LIFT Protein Muffins are primarily composed of nuts, fruits, and vegetables, with 18-19g of protein. LIFT Protein Muffins are ideal to incorporate into your daily diet, as they contain no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, soy, lactose, trans fat, or MSG.

3) Why did you decide to make these muffins Paleo and gluten-free?

I’ve been on the Paleo diet for over four years and noticed the lack of on-the-go Paleo meals. There are many gluten-free snacks, but they often contain rice, soy, or artificial sweeteners. We wanted to create a product that filled a void for busy people who prefer to eat healthy and can satisfy their appetite!

4) Can we expect there to be vegan products in the future?


5) What other types of products can we expect to see in the future? In what other ways will the LIFT brand expand?

We will look to expand our product line to new flavors of muffins; one idea is to add seasonal flavors.

6) Developing LIFT seems to have required both creativity and business skills–something that is not always easy to mix when starting from scratch. How did you manage to turn your idea into a growing business?

It has been a fail fast and grow strategy. I am fairly technical so that helped me with the ability to perform digital marketing, setting up our Kickstarter and our current website. My mom is an incredible baker, so our two skill sets complemented one another.

7) One reason that people tend to not eat very well is that there never seems to be enough time to eat a healthy meal. Convenience is key. How do LIFT muffins provide convenience without sacrificing nutrition?

LIFT Protein Muffins are all about health and convenience! Since they have a high protein content, they serve as a meal replacement. We use high quality and Paleo ingredients to not sacrifice nutrition!

Learn more about LIFT Protein Muffins at