18-year-old creates healthy snacks for busy college students
STATEN ISLAND, NY – A lifelong passionate about health and fitness, 18-year-old Sophia Mezzacappa became vegan / vegetarian about three years ago.
As a student on the go, the Grymes Hill resident discovered that her new diet had caused her to consume an excess of processed protein bars.
“I started to notice that not all of these processed foods were the best for my stomach or my body. During that time, I thought I was “healthy” for choosing to eat a protein bar instead of junk food, “said Mezzacappa, who at the time was a student at Xaverian High School who was busy with the sports, including Brooklyn school joy. and tennis teams.
“When I started to notice this, I decided to create my own [protein snacks]; that way I knew exactly what ingredients I was including. And [this would] make sure everything was natural and fresh, ”added Mezzacappa, who started attending Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., this fall.
After her friends and family started to enjoy her protein balls, she thought to herself, “I should start my own protein ball business.
“And that’s what I did. While my college was online for the semester, I thought this would be a great way to keep busy and give back to my community by promoting a powerhouse. healthy and a healthy lifestyle, ”said Mezzacappa, who specializes. in biology and hopes to pursue a career in medicine.
Without hesitation, Mezzacappa last month launched Sophie’s Sweets, specializing in flavored protein balls, from strawberry shortcake to cherry vanilla.
“All the ingredients I use are natural, organic and vegan. But, natural and organic doesn’t always necessarily mean healthy. These are [often] words to get consumers to buy the product just because they associate those words with ‘healthy’, ”she explained.
With that in mind, Mezzacappa has ensured that their protein balls are actually created with all organic and vegan ingredients.
“They’re made with good protein and good fiber. So not only will they help you increase your energy level and boost your metabolism, they are also delicious and sweet, ”she said. “My protein balls are the perfect snack for a student on the go. As we all know, students don’t have a lot of downtime. So, most resort to unhealthy foods or snacks because they are more accessible. But my protein balls can help solve this problem.
She has developed five flavors: Double Coco Crunch, Strawberry Shortcake, Cherry Vanilla, Baha Blast, PB&J and Cinnamon Raisin.
“I made sure I had a range of flavors to suit everyone’s palette. The oats I use are gluten-free, and I also offer a nut-free flavor, Cinnamon Raisin, to accommodate those with allergies, ”Mezzacappa said.
Although college classes are far away for the student, she says she is very busy with her homework. So much so that she is eagerly awaiting her “downtime” – when she can create her protein balls.
“After sitting at my desk in my room all day, I can’t wait to make the protein balls. It helps me relax and unwind after a long day of schoolwork and staring at a computer screen for so long. It’s nice to take a break from technology because it’s now one of the most important parts of my daily routine, ”she admitted.
To market the product, Mezzacappa set up an Instagram account, where you can find photos of the protein balls, an “about me” page and pricing information.
“I also included an Instagram highlight titled ‘Why Vegan?’ I think it’s important to show people the many benefits of veganism. Not only are you helping your body become healthier, you are helping the Earth, ”she said. “In addition to an Instagram page, I also have a Facebook page to target a wider range of people on a different platform. My protein ball business is usually done by word of mouth as well, and for that I can thank my many friends and family.
HOW TO ORDER
With the products aimed at busy middle and high school students, Mezzacappa said people can order through Instagram or Facebook by direct message. She said she was in the process of developing a website to help streamline orders.
SOPHIE’S CANDIES AT A GLANCE
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