Broomfield parents David and Jenn Bacon were tired of the daily breakfast battle with their five children, all under the age of thirteen. They were particularly challenged feeding their ten-year-old son, Jace, who is autistic and a picky eater; they struggled to get enough protein into his limited diet.
Then David noticed that his post-workout protein powder was going missing: Jenn was slipping it into pancakes, a food that Jace loves.
This was the start of what eventually became Flapjacked, a company based on their own healthy, protein- packed pancake recipe, which won a regional Samuel Adams Pitchroom competition in Denver Wednesday.
With their victory came $10,000 and a trip to New York for the national contest in December.
At the competition on May 21, Jenn passed out warm banana nut bread, a signature Flapjacked recipe based on the pancake mix, for the judges to nibble on while the couple gave their business pitch in the allowed two minutes.
The Bacons are avid skiiers, hikers and runners, and their kids are active in sports, too. Jenn told the judges that she was tired of seeing her kids crash only hours after eating morning pancakes -- but David's workout protein was too gritty to be tasty and too expensive to use regularly as a supplement to her pancake mix.
"Normal pancakes are crap," David added, explaining the significance of their healthy cakes. "And there are millions of recipes with protein [in them] that are dry and chalky. These really aren't. They are moist and fluffy."
Flapjacked has fifteen to seventeen grams of protein and only 200 calories in about four pancakes; the mix comes in three flavors. "Our oldest, Jett's, favorite [flavor] is buttermilk; our youngest, Owen's, favorite is Cinnamon Apple. The others love them all," Jenn told the judges. The third flavor is banana hazelnut -- and the judges definitely liked that one, polishing off the bread samples set on a table already cluttered with products from previous contenders, including bar nuts and Bavarian beer pretzels, as well as bottles of Samuel Adams beer.
"We wanted the cleanest, most natural protein we could get," David said in the pitch, explaining that the protein is whey, and the sweetener all fruit-based.
Judge Ken Smith, beer education trainer at Samuel Adams, applauded the efficiency of their pitch. "I've got five kids in the house, I know how to be very efficient," David replied.
The judging criteria was based on pitch quality, passion and product viability, and the Bacons won over five other contestants pulled from the original thirty applications. Flapjacked will go head to head with three other regional winners in December.
"When we told the kids, they were all jumping up and down and were very excited," Jenn says. "Our youngest asked, 'Do we get to stay in a hotel when we go to New York?!'"
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Find out more about Flapjacked here.