A face full of donuts isn’t the secret weapon of a professional athlete. Lean muscles aren’t built from high fat, high sugar, highly-processed foods. For fitness competitor Jackie Melesio, that was a problem.
“I’ve always been into fitness and I’ve always loved donuts,” said Jackie. “When I started doing fitness competitions I realized donuts didn’t fit into my meal plan and it was horrible. I figured there’s got to be a way where you can still eat donuts and be in competition shape. So I started playing in the kitchen with different ingredients to turn a regular recipe into a healthier version.”
Inspired by the necessity of a healthier food without the guilt and discomfort she felt after eating traditional donuts, Jackie invented a “better for you food” now known as Muscle Donut.
“We started with regular donuts made with whole wheat and barley flours, but we saw the demand for gluten free products so we switched to a completely gluten free line and it’s gone great,” said Jackie. “Surprisingly, they actually taste more like a regular donut when they’re gluten free.”
Muscle Donut’s lineup includes flavors like strawberry shortcake, s’mores, Butterfinger caramel and birthday cake. These treats are all natural and free of preservatives, dyes or colors.
“We source our ingredients locally as much as possible because we like to keep our money here and help the local,” said Jackie. “That’s one of the highlights of our products.”
Available for pickup or delivery, the traditional donut isn’t Jackie’s only offering. Protein donut mixes and a protein pancake and waffle mix is also available for purchase with shipping across the United States.
“It’s amazing to me to think that my product is going across the United States,” said Jackie. “It’s crazy to think about and especially now that we’re on Amazon, there’s no limits.”
With only the help of her husband and no prior experience running a business, selling on Amazon and claiming shelf space at local grocers are major milestones for Jackie and the company.
“There’s a lot of work behind the scenes and we’ve done this all by ourselves,” she said. “We had to learn everything from graphic design to how to create your own barcode, to building a website and developing packaging – you name it.”
Jackie emphasizes that life as a small business owner can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but her mission of empowering individuals and families to eat better by providing them with healthy, high quality products, keeps her going. It helps too that she’s operating in one of the most business-friendly states in the country.
“What I love about Idaho is that people are huge supporters of local products,” said Jackie. “Idaho provides an opportunity for people to be in business and offer their products to consumers who really want it.”