Canadian Protein Founder Lands Workout Products on Costco Shelves

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In Windsor, Ontario, an ambitious man named Dan Crosby has achieved what many entrepreneurs only dream of—seeing their product gracing the shelves of a global retail titan. Crosby is the proud founder of Canadian Protein, initially birthed from his dissatisfaction with the quality of workout products available in the U.S. and Canada back in 2008.

Compelled to resolve this concern, Crosby took on the challenge to fill this market void in the fitness industry. He sought to create a line of straightforward, superior-quality, and high-value items, which hence gave birth to his own brand, Canadian Protein. This venture started humbly, as Crosby recalled, right in his very own kitchen, concocting pilot blends of the protein-rich formula.

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In the same year, he took another bold step by founding his personal supplement store, which eventually closed down as he decided to shift his full attention to online sales of his protein powder.

This decision to focus on e-commerce played a pivotal role in funding necessitated much later when retail titan Costco reached out to him in 2021. Crosby reveals, “We were astonished when they initiated contacting us. It felt surreal, we had to second-guess if it was genuinely someone from Costco when we saw the email.” He knew it was no jest when he became aware of Costco’s stringent guidelines on product quality, packaging, and cross-contamination.

Tapping into his accumulated capital, Crosby invested a hefty “$1 million” into procuring the right equipment for a distinct manufacturing facility devoted wholly to supplement production for Costco. It was a gamble since Crosby explains “you don’t receive a purchase order until Costco is ready to place the product order,” meaning everything was prepped with the hopes of making it onto the shelves of the colossal retailer.

The refinement of the protein supplement itself was a journey that spanned over a decade—a meticulous process of trial and error that ultimately crafted a formula capable of bulk production. Today, Canadian Protein has blossomed into a team of approximately 100 dedicated staff.

The new presence of Canadian Protein in Costco represents a trial phase. If sales prove to be successful, this workout product will potentially be launched in more Costco branches all over the country. Despite the uncertainty of the outcome, Crosby feels personally enriched by the wealth of life and business lessons he’s acquired.

Crosby candidly advises other dreamers like himself, “It’s not about having a high IQ or the greatest idea. What matters is the tenacity in chasing after your objectives. Persistence, without a doubt, is key.”