Darlene McCormick is the Founder of That Protein and is well known for being one of few women in the male dominated protein industry. Her aim has been to provide a new kind of vegan proteins, entirely organic and free from the sweeteners and thickeners associated with old style “protein shakes”.
Her products are a blend of plant proteins infused with superfoods for added benefits. She is a qualified Clinical Nutritionist with a passion for plant based living. She creates all the recipes as exclusives with her team and never sells “white label” proteins. She is a former Tatler Businesswoman of the Year and her products are sold all over the world and have been featured for their purity in VOGUE UK.
HQ for Darlene and for That Protein is on the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland where she lives with her husband and rescue pets. Today we find out more about Darlene and That Protein…
NTDF: What was your background and what led you to set up That Protein?
DM: I started my career in local TV and PR and at 26 I became one of the youngest ever GMs of a global PR firm which allowed me to travel all over the world with my work. After that I sent up my own PR firm in Ireland which was very successful and had offices in Belfast and Dublin which 10 years later I sold to a large PR company in the UK. This was a great move for me because for many years I had nursed the idea of having my own brand of high quality vegan nutrition products that would be for everyone to enjoy. Selling my PR firm enabled me to make that leap.
I studied Nutrition and gained my clinical nutritionist Diploma. Then came around 18 months researching the market and getting a clear understanding of what kind of products I wanted to create. Top of the list was that they would be plant based and 100% organic.
I wanted to bring something totally unique to the protein market and to have delicious raw and organic proteins that had added superfoods for a deeply nourishing plant “super protein”. Now only 18 months later we are on sale all over the world including Spain, Scandinavia and the Middle East and in places like Holland and Barrett in the UK. It’s been a fantastic experience and we are only just beginning!
NTDF: Have you always been a vegan?
DM: No. I ate meat as a child but as a teenager I was a vegetarian. Back then there were few vegan products and it’s wonderful to see all the vegan options now available which makes it so much easier than it used to be to choose a vegan diet. There is also a growing vegan clothing industry and veganism as a lifestyle is no longer seen as an “alternative” choice. All of this makes me very happy! With so many 100% vegan companies sprouting around us it means we can chose them instead of large companies who use animal products as the mainstay of their business and then tag on the “vegan option” .
NTDF: What does veganism mean to you ?
DM: For me choosing to be a vegan is a rejection of eating animals or any byproduct of animals as part of a movement to highlight the animal cruelty – as I perceive it – in non vegan food manufacturing. I have deep compassion for animals and want to do what I can to highlight that plant based living is wonderful, nutritious, good for health and totally cruelty free.
Plant based living is complementary to my veganism and is about my health as I believe a vegan diet is the healthiest one. Protein of course is an area many vegans get frustrated about as we all know how to get protein from plant sources and some people feel protein powders have no place in a vegan diet but I totally disagree.
Our products are a fantastic organic addition to a healthy vegan diet and a great source of protein without the need for combining. We want vegans, vegetarians, pesceterians and omnivores to enjoy That Protein!
NTDF: Tell us a bit about the products
DM: The products are a fusion of plant proteins like Pumpkin seed protein powder which we make by cold pressing Styrian pumpkin seeds to create an organic protein “powder”. They are all high protein and the highest quality. Each of the products then has addition benefits that come from the superfoods such as building muscles, supporting immune system, supporting a healthy heart, reducing tiredness and fatigue.
These benefits are all organic and come from the seeds and organic raw materials. They are the purest high protein nutrition you can find. You can add the powders to smoothies, make protein shakes, add to porridge or overnight oats to make “proats”, add to baking to turbo charge the protein and nutrition in your fave recipes…so many ways to use!