We’re thrilled to feature Hanna Valley Protein on the Our Health Community blog series! This small business was born from a true medical need for high-quality yet affordable food options. Read their incredible story below!
Tell us a bit about Hanna Valley Protein. Why did you start this business? How has it evolved? What is it today?
Hanna Valley Protein started before we even knew it would become a business. In 2015, I received the disappointing news that I was diagnosed with Lupus. At the time I was in a great deal of pain – from having difficulty walking, using my hands, to losing my vision due to a tumor in my left eye. I was referred to a rheumatologist at the time and it was going to take 3 months to be seen. With the extreme pain and having a toddler and infant at home, I knew I couldn’t wait that long. At this point I began watching documentaries and just learning about other people’s stories that took their health into their own hands. As I started overhauling things we used in our home, I switched our pots and pans, soaps, cleaning supplies, etc. We were being bombarded by environmental toxins, chemicals, and foods that were making us sick. I was very overwhelmed so started focusing on things we used as a family on a daily basis. When I started reading the ingredients of the protein powder that my fitness loving hubby was consuming, I couldn’t believe the terrible ingredients he was using while thinking he was doing something to improve his health. He was open to trying something different but when going on my own search for a protein powder that was affordable and met the expectation I had for ingredients, I couldn’t find anything. This is when I started exploring making my own protein powder that my family could use. I tried some nasty combinations; I was determined to use lentils for a while! The ingredients that make up our formula today were all chosen specifically for their nutrition content. We still use it as a family today from smoothies and energy balls, to a boost in our favorite brownies.
Over time, friends and family became interested and decided to try out our first farmers market in 2019. It ended up being successful and we decided to make the jump to becoming fully licensed in a shared commercial kitchen space in January 2020. We celebrated getting into our first store, Campbell’s Nutrition (still one of our faves), in March and 2 weeks later the pandemic hit. While this was a scary, unknown time for everyone, we started seeing a shift in even more people caring about their health and making better food choices.
In May 2022, we had outgrown our shared kitchen space, and made the move into our own location. Later that year we also hired our first employee and were accepted in the small business summit process through Hyvee. This was a huge opportunity for us and helped us branch into the surrounding states as well. You can now find us in around 40 + retail locations including Hyvee, Fareway and Fresh Thyme Market. It has been such an amazing rollercoaster of a journey and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share the hope I have experienced with others.
It has been eight years since receiving that diagnosis and it was one of the darkest most transformational times I have experienced to date. Through learning the powerful effect of food and prayer, I am healed from a disease I was told I would live with for the rest of my life. And the best part, I’ve been able to change the trajectory of my family’s eating habits and get to provide hope to others who are experiencing their own health struggles.
What makes your approach different?
Hanna Valley is dedicated to providing products to people that have the cleanest ingredients and foods they should be consuming daily while also increasing their protein content and fiber. With the protein industry being unregulated, it’s so important to know and trust the ingredients companies are using. First and foremost, we use this as a family and want others to be able to do the same.
What’s one thing people should know about your business if they’ve never tried it before?
People should know that we use nutrient dense, whole food ingredients to fuel our customers. There are several ingredients that are considered health foods that are deceiving and we avoid these in all of our products. From commercially used stevia, to gums, fillers, and “natural” flavors that are anything but that. They are also free from top food allergens – nuts, gluten, soy, dairy, etc.
What gets you up in the morning?
Knowing that I get to wake up and share my mission with the world while also proving to my children to not be afraid to dream and go for their goals. I love serving others and Hanna Valley is such a blessing to my family.
What do you love about the Greater Des Moines community?
We have the BEST community. From customers, to fellow small business owners – I absolutely love Des Moines. I am an Iowa captive that has made this my home and where I get to raise my own family.
The possibilities are endless! The greater the reach, the greater the impact and that is our main focus at the moment.
If you or someone you know know are in a similar situation or are having a difficult time, please know you are not alone. I’m not a doctor but always welcome to share my story and what helped me personally overcome my own trials. Please reach out any time!
Where can people learn more about Hanna Valley Protein? (ex.: links to Facebook, website, etc.)
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