Excellence in Manufacturing Award winner started out by baking bread at home

Entrepreneur and co-founder of The Protein Bread Co. and Anna’s Low Carb Kitchen, Anna Hopkins has shown that dreams certainly can be turned into reality.

Awarded ‘Excellence in Manufacturing’ at the 2018 Women in Industry Awards last week, Anna has taken The Low Carb Living Group’s business from strength to strength alongside her brother and business partner Luke Hopkins and CEO Aaron Wallace.

The ‘Excellence in Manufacturing’ category recognises an individual who has thought ‘outside the box’ to implement an outstanding personal contribution to their manufacturing business and the wider manufacturing community.

This award comes after The Protein Bread Co. won both the ‘Best of the Best’ and the ‘Best Packaging Design’ awards at the 2016 Food & Beverage Awards.

Anna’s story of success
While managing a cafe she pioneered and owned from 2010, Anna created her own recipe for a low carb protein bread for herself when she couldn’t find anything on the market.

After several baking attempts, which she did in her studio apartment to keep her recipe top secret, she started selling the cling-wrapped loaves at the cafe she was managing for $20 a pop.

Seeing the high demand for the product – which was flying out the door when people started travelling from all over Sydney to purchase the bread from the cafe – her brother Luke and her teamed up to manufacture and distribute the product on an e-commerce site driven by a strong social media presence.

The Protein Bread Co. was founded in 2012, selling only the original baked and packaged Protein Bread – and to keep up with the demand Anna successfully sold the cafe in 2014 to concentrate on the new venture.

Since then, the business has grown into a global venture that now distributes the range of 16 bake-at-home mixes all over Australia, New Zealand and the US, with plans in the near future to expand further.

The business continues to grow
The team is launching its first commercial range through a national food retail partner with over 200 outlets in the coming months, which will see exciting growth for the business, and the first of many commercial and white label partnerships in the pipeline for the remainder of this year and going into 2019.

Always innovating new products, the team – which now consists of 14 full-time staff members – recently launched Protein Banana Bread, and Protein Carrot Cake will be released in two weeks’ time.

“At the core of our business we believe in creating products that have never been created before that really allow people to ‘have their cake and eat it too’,” Anna says.

“We believe that healthy food choices – without the carbs and sugar – should be easy and accessible to all Australians and people around the world.

“Making great food choices that help you to feel your best no longer means missing out and making sacrifices,” Anna says.

Anna says the success has come with challenges and learnings along the way. “We built the production facility from scratch with no experience,” she says.

“The decision to bring manufacturing in-house back in 2014 was a costly and time-consuming exercise, but has positioned the company as not just an innovation and marketing company, but manufacturer as well.

“Controlling all aspects of the business opens up doors for future innovations, speed to market, partnerships and cost savings that are passed on to consumers so everyone has access to high quality healthy food choices.”

Anna is proof that anything is possible with determination, persistence, hard work, big dreams, and above all else a burning desire to help millions of people improve their health and happiness through making simple, convenient, natural food products easily accessible to everyone.

Today, under The Low Carb Living Group umbrella, with a team of 14 and a manufacturing facility in Marrickville, Sydney, the company has two brands, The Protein Bread Co and Anna’s Low Carb Kitchen, offering 16 products – with 40 more launching this year – which are sold around Australia, New Zealand and the US direct to consumers online, as well as through leading health retailers.