FROPRO: Fueling Second Chances
by Darien Davies
If you ask most small business owners what their goal was in creating their business, it might be money, lifestyle, notoriety or power. If you’re Matthew Williams, it was E: None of the above. “FROPRO is my second chance. I didn’t create FROPRO to fill a market gap and I certainly didn’t create it to be a small business owner. It was born in a time of self crisis for me. In 2010 I started my life over and while trying to find my way, I perfected this snack in my kitchen as a kind of self therapy,” said Williams, owner and creator of FROPRO.
If you haven’t yet heard of FROPRO, it’s a clean-food company that makes protein-rich snack bars. All of their bars are made with organic nut butter and organic, plant-based protein because they believe that good food fuels you to be the best version of yourself. These delicious and healthy bars will not only make you feel good in the body, they’ll also make you feel good in the soul, as the company is all about helping others recognize and achieve their second chances. Williams’s second chance came in the form of a DUI in 2010. After spending some time in rehab, he decided to refocus his life and put his actions in line with his passions. Always a busy guy who held more jobs at once than most people in a lifetime, he was able to get a job working for a meal prep company during the day and also train his athletic clients at night. Due to a lack of downtime in between jobs, and being exhausted from riding his bike to and from work, he was on the hunt for a protein-rich snack bar that would help him get through the day. A little trial and error in his kitchen, and FROPRO was born.
While it might have been Williams at the helm, he is quick to tell you that he couldn’t have gotten there without his wife Chelsea and the community.
“At its core, FROPRO is more than just a bar; it’s a community. We are a group of people who are committed to bettering ourselves,” said Williams, who has been sober since 2010. “People who have faced trials and hardships. People who recognize that life is measured by the effort you put forth, not merely by the results you achieve. FROPRO is built on second chances. Our bar is just a part of that equation.”
The company’s mission is to make and share wholesome snacks, create a community of people dedicated to bettering themselves, and spread awareness about and advocate for people working through addiction and toward recovery. For the wife and husband duo, that work starts with FROPRO. They hope to share the product with as many people as possible and that they enjoy it. If they can connect with the mission behind it, that’s a bonus.
“My life is enriched daily by all the people who have participated in our growth. I’m surrounded by incredibly talented, smart people who are on the same page as I am when it comes to effort and taking action,” Williams said. “We have been so lucky to have the support we have received. In 2016, I signed up for the New York City Marathon and decided to publicly share my story in hope to raise money for people in recovery. We couldn’t believe how many people wanted to donate to me and support my cause. We realized after that we had a voice and ability to raise more. We created the FROPRO Foundation so that we can raise money and donate to charities that support those in recovery on a larger scale.”
Through the FROPRO Foundation, which they created in 2017, they aim to raise awareness about addiction, support people in recovery, and create a network on which people can rely as they get and stay sober. They hope the FROPRO Foundation will help to dismantle the stigma associated with addiction and recovery.
Since 2019, the FROPRO Foundation has supported the Temperance Training Foundation. Temperance Training is an inclusive community of men and women who have recovered from alcohol and drug addiction and who value spiritual and physical fitness. Through their organization, they have built an extraordinary and supportive community in South Florida. The FROPRO community has participated fully in Temperance Training, and has attended their group classes, participated in their charity runs and events, and done yoga and mindfulness through their program.
Williams wholeheartedly believes that supporting the community is what the FROPRO brand is all about. He is convinced that he wouldn’t be here today, and FROPRO wouldn’t be a “thing,” if it weren’t for the local community that lifted him up and supported him both individually and for FROPRO.
“It took some time for me to get over the fear and share FROPRO, and it was the community’s support that has helped FROPRO get to where it is today,” said Williams, who works to give back the support he’s been given. “Our ultimate goal is to be a nationwide brand and inspire others that second chances are possible. We started with nothing so we’ve celebrated a few ‘we made it’ moments. When we are out and about, either in Whole Foods or a local juice bar, and we see a stranger buying a FROPRO, we still look at each other and smile.
People who we don’t know buy and love FROPRO, and that just is the coolest part for us. Our incredible partnership with Whole Foods was definitely one of those moments but we have a long way to go!”
They even created a special flavor, Tropical Dream, for the opening of the Delray Beach Whole Foods, which brings their current flavor count to 12 delicious flavors. Williams first created cacao, vanilla, mint and coffee, but now offers unique flavors like banana crunch, PB&J and blueberry almond. In order to stay true to the ingredients, flavors and company mission, they create small batches to ensure the flavor, and says that FROPRO bars really do taste incredible.
On top of that, he and Chelsea put anything and everything into the product because, yep, you guessed it: it’s more than protein. It’s taking a bite out of life. Trying and failing. Trying and succeeding! Being a helping hand for your fellow community members. Bettering yourself and those around you. Pushing through fear and prevailing.
“[I was pretty] hesitant at first. I had all these things I studied for and had masters that I wasn’t using. All I know is that I was super happy, the woman I loved supported me. ‘Hey, you were given a second chance,’” said Williams, on first starting the company. “I’ve had many do-overs but this one I was super excited about and wanted to keep moving. I love being
active and being with people and their ideas, and being as supportive as possible. Theres no shortage of great ideas. If you love doing it, go for it.”
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