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Meet Marcel Salapa of Phoros Nutrition in Westwood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcel Salapa.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Marcel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I probably have the most cliche Los Angeles upbringing. I was born in Santa Monica, but the parents quickly moved to the valley. I played guitar in a kid rock band, played AYSO soccer at Balboa Park and drank wheat grass shots before they were cool. I was homeschooled up until 3rd grade and pretty much killed it in school until high school. Teen angst hit me pretty hard and my grades started to suffer. By the time senior year circled around, my absences were outweighing my days attended, and my detentions were in the triple digits. I barely made it to graduation and the only award I received was the prestigious, Class Clown superlative. In fear of becoming the 21-year-old dude who shows up to high school parties and has a vape trick YouTube channel, I quickly enrolled at Pierce Community College. I hit the books like my life depended on it and grinded out 18 unit semesters for 2 years and was accepted to UCLA. To illustrate the unlikeliness of such a 180-degree improvement, it took the valedictorian of my high-school three times running into me, before he finally believes I was actually a student here. I think I was on a roll because, during my first year, I started an e-commerce business selling ultra-thin iPhone cases and generated over $50k in revenue within the first 6 months. I quickly fell in love with biz dev and marketing, and have been working on some kind of entrepreneurial project ever since.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No definitely not. Although, I think I was lucky because I had to deal with a lot of tough experiences in my earlier years that really shaped my emotional strength and work ethic. For example, my parents went through a nasty divorce and as a consequence, I was also forced to be pretty much self-sufficient from about age 16 on. Working two jobs, while being a full-time student was definitely a challenge. However, it allowed me to strengthen the work ethic and stress threshold that I rely on heavily today.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Phoros Nutrition – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
So I started Phoros Nutrition in April of 2017. Our staple product is our protein pancake mix…which is probably the best tasting pancake mix this world has to offer. My best friend and I actually developed this protein pancake mix for about a year and a half before trying to sell it. At the time, we’re obsessed with working out, and by default obsessed with getting enough protein in our diets.I’ve always loved pancakes, so as soon as I heard there was such a thing as protein pancakes, I had to try them out. I tried every single protein pancake product on the market (I know, turns out there was more than one) and they all tasted like protein flavored cardboard. Just to solve our own problem we began to develop our own mix. What we discovered was that a protein pancake wasn’t going to taste like a perfect buttermilk pancake. Instead of trying to make a healthy version of something we loved, we decided to make something completely different. We combined banana, cinnamon and other cozy flavors to make a delicious original protein pancake mix that yields the same macronutrients as a 6 oz. chicken breast and a side of quinoa (yeah, you can get that summer bod while eating pancakes). We currently make everything locally here in Los Angeles and you can buy our mix from anywhere in the US from Amazon. However, we’re working extremely hard to get full-scale manufacturing that would allow us to reach global demand.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Moving forward, I’ll be graduating in June from UCLA. I hope to continue to build and grow Phoros by expanding our product line and establishing ourselves internationally. Selling food products is definitely not what I had planned to do post-graduation, but people have really fallen in love with our product which makes it so fulfilling to pursue. I also work on a video interview series about young entrepreneurs. We just started working with a production team based in Santa Monica called, PressPlay so we’ll be working hard the following months to put out some awesome content.

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