Sitting down with Killer Whey! owner, Louis Armstrong
If you have not heard of it or seen it in a store. Go out and find yourself some Killer Whey! ice cream right now. Locally made in Meridian, Idaho, it is a healthy post workout, on the go or guilty pleasure snack.
Find Killer Whey! at these locations and keep an eye out for new locations at their website killerwhey.com.
- Boise Co-op
- Huckleberrys & Rosauers Supermarket
- Ranch Market
- Valley View Chevron
- Hyde Perk Coffee House
- Camp Rhino Boise
You just scored a massive deal - Killer Whey! is going to start being distributed in Albertson's stores (in addition now to Winco, Rosauers, the Boise Co-Op and various local gyms). Be honest; how excited were you when you made this deal?
Very excited. Albertson’s is a big one. They’re the number three grocer in the united states with 2800 stores, so just to get my foot in that door is really huge! Especially after one year of operating as a brand.
You received a degree in Food Science from the University of Idaho - Have you been interested in food since you were a kid? What do you think inspired this infatuation with understanding how food reacts with our physical and mental health?
Oh yeah, I’ve always been infatuated with food! *laughs* I still am. I just love food in general, even if it’s bad for me. I like the indulgence. I’m not sure if that’s what really drew me to food sciences, but I’ve always been a curious person. I loved chemistry and microbiology, and you get to play around with all of that with food science. Plus, everyone has to eat - So there’s some really good job security. *laughs*
The food industry is pretty interesting world when you look at how food gets to people - the factory farming, the mass production to feed the 7-billion people on the planet. It’s a very fascinating area to look into…
This particular product, I essentially made for myself being a fairly fit person, but a person who also enjoys ice cream. I never had ice cream in my freezer because I would eat the whole pint in one sitting! Killer Whey! was basically a selfish idea. *laughs*
For those not familiar with the product, what is Killer Whey! and what separates it from the competition?
It’s essentially a guilt-free ice cream. Not only is it low-calorie, but you get value out of it. And while there are companies that offer low-calorie ice cream, our big separation is the high protein. For example, we have a pint where you get 44-grams of protein. That’s four times the amount of a standard ice cream. We’re also no sugar added! Most other healthy ice creams have sugar in it, so we’re trying to cut out anything that might spike your blood-sugar levels. There’s so much research out there that shows what excess sugar in your diet can lead to as far as health problems are concerned...
Cutting all that out and putting a ton of protein in it while still tasting good and having fun is our biggest thing. Hopefully we’ve accomplished that.
You had the original idea for this back in 2011. What were some of the challenges that you had to overcome during the following five years to make your idea come to fruition? What did you do to keep yourself motivated?
I touched on it so many different times and obviously didn’t get to do much until just recently. A major reason for that is time. I was in a corporate world stuck working too much and was dealing with life in general. I didn’t have the time or energy to dive right in.
Once I left Sandpoint, Idaho, my corporate gig, I finally had some free time down here. Really, one of the big cornerstones was this facility that we are in right now. Having access to a facility and having the time, I was able to do something for myself - So I jumped on this idea that has been clawing at the back of my brain for forever!
Do you have any upcoming plans for Killer Whey! that you can talk about? Maybe some new flavors?
Yeah! I’m working on some new flavors. A fruit base is all I’ll say for now. Hopefully I’ll have that launched within the next month. That’s the biggest thing for now, but as the year goes on we will certainly experiment with more fun flavors. We’ve kept it simple upfront to get the brand off the ground and get things rolling.
But a lot more flavors are part of our plan right now.
What's your next big goal in life? Professionally or personally.
The big goal for Killer Whey! Right now is to become a regional player in 2018. That could mean expanding in grocers, or doing the private-world stuff… Who knows where this will work? There’s a lot of opportunities for people to eat this. Where’s our niche gonna be?
Hopefully in 2018 we will be distributing outside of Boise and other areas, and essentially making more people happy.
I just got married a year ago so I’m working on starting a family and progressing that side of life, too. I’m pretty busy right now! *laughs*
Do you have any advice on balancing life personally and professionally?
You gotta prioritize. You gotta make sure that you’re keeping the ball rolling on everything, and staying aware of everything. And it’s important to never forget your personal life! I’d say it’s all about prioritizing.
When you're not working, what do you like to do?
My main things are staying active. I’m a big outdoorsman. Hunting, fishing, that sort of stuff…
Well, you’re in a good spot for that in Boise!
Absolutely! Idaho is a great spot for that. I’ve got a dog and we are always out hiking.
What would you say to other young entrepreneurs who want to start their own business but might be a little scared to take the plunge?
It’s easy to get scared. You just gotta take the plunge as soon as you can. Don’t sit around and write fifteen different business plans… You gotta just jump right in once you have something that makes sense, and do a little bit of due-diligence.
But the ultimate thing you gotta do is get out there with your product or idea or whatever it might be - get it out there as cheaply as possible, and then you can start fine-tuning the details.
And finally, if you could have one dream celebrity be the face of Killer Whey! - Who would it be?
*Laughs* Well, let’s see... It’s gotta be someone active. A fit person.
I like Chris Pratt! He’d be awesome. That’s kinda the vibe I want for Killer Whey! He’s got that fun attitude, but still dedicated. He seems to be a healthy and funny guy.