After tiring of drinking the same old protein shakes, James Doyle decided to brainstorm some new ideas.
He figured there was a way to turn his protein powder into a dessert.
So, the 29-year-old Wesley Chapel man began experimenting.
Inspired by how Jell-O works, Doyle developed FREEZINda, a liquid and dry mix product that transforms any whey protein powder into an ice cream-like, frozen dessert.
Throughout a lengthy trial period, Doyle estimates he tested more than 100 different ingredients and about 3,000 pounds of frozen dessert in his kitchen.
Doyle’s friends and family members — even his dog, Buddy — taste-tested recipes.
As he toyed with countless combinations early on, his taste-testers were brutally honest.
“I had my dad try one of the formulas, and he straight up told me, ‘It tastes horrible,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, man! It (froze) right, it had the right qualities, it looked good,’ and then we tasted it and it was like, ‘No!’”
He said it took approximately 19 months “to get the formula down.”
Eventually he found what he considers the ideal combination of mixing agents that bind together to form a texture that mirrors a sweet icy, syrupy sorbet; with ingredients like vegetable glycerin, erythritol (sugar alcohol), guar gum and xanthan gum, and just a gram of sugar per serving.
FREEZINda officially launched last November and is now offered in 21 stores across the United States. It is non-genetically modified, low sugar, fat free, lactose free, gluten free, low glycemic (low net carbs) and vegetarian friendly.
Preparation is easy. Mix any whey protein powder with a cup of water or milk — like a protein shake — then add the FREEZINda liquid and dry mix, and place in the freezer overnight.
Doyle’s favorite concoction? Mixing in just about any type of chocolate mint whey protein powder, specifically the flavor made by Adaptogen Science.
To further customize the high protein ice cream dessert replacement, Doyle recommends adding nuts, fruit, sprinkles and so on.
Doyle noted: “It definitely does satisfy your sweet tooth and your cravings that you would get, so once you eat it, then you’re like, ‘OK, I’m good.’”
And, there’s no question he’s a fan of his own product.
For about eighth months straight, Doyle said he ate about 2 pounds of FREEZINda each day.
“I still eat it,” he said, “but not 2 pounds a day.”
Computer specialist turned entrepreneur
Doyle was born in New York but went to high school in Leesburg, right outside The Villages.
He later settled in Wesley Chapel with his older sister, to attend and graduate from the University of South Florida.
After college, Doyle worked as an IT specialist locally.
He was forced to quit his career as lingering vision issues prevented him from staring at a computer monitor all day long. “It was pretty tough,” Doyle said, of having to give up IT work.
Not sure where to turn next, the concept for FREEZINda suddenly popped in his head while he basked in the sauna at the New Tampa LA Fitness one spring day in 2016.
“It’s kind of weird how, like, when doors close, another one opens,” he said.
Once he had the idea, the next step was to figure out how to get it to market.
Doyle leaned on a minor degree in entrepreneurship, as well as advice from several family members who own businesses to help FREEZINda off the ground.
“I kind of figured out my way from there,” he said.
As a sole entrepreneur, Doyle works from his Wesley Chapel home office, where he can facilitate supply chain duties between a commercial kitchen in Oldsmar, and a co-packer and fulfillment center in Texas.
He’s had to learn how to navigate other aspects, including patents and trademarks, and ensuring the product is compliant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
He’s also had to figure out innovative ways to market his product and generate more sales.
“There’s quite a bit to owning your own business,” said Doyle, who works six days a week. “There’s so many different areas, from fulfillment to marketing. There’s so many different areas, it’s unreal.”
FREEZINda is offered in retail nutrition and mom-and-pop stores as far away as Texas and California. It is also sold in Florida.
Locally, it can be found at Total Nutrition USF, 2720 E. Fowler Ave., in Tampa.
It’s also available on Amazon and several other nutrition-focused websites.
Next month, Doyle plans to introduce new packaging and a new FREEZINda formula that’s sugar-free, and substitutes sea salt for baking powder.
He’s searching for a food broker, too, to help promote FREEZINda to additional chain wholesalers, retail stores and independent wholesalers.
“I’m hoping to pick up more traction, with better retail boxes and a little more enhanced formula,” he said.
He also dreams of appearing on the hit Emmy Award winning reality show “Shark Tank.”
He applied in January and made it through a couple rounds of casting interviews before talks dried up.
While Doyle aims to be successful in business, he also wants to help people to become healthier.
For more information, visit Freezinda.com.
Published August 22, 2018