Interview with Quest Creator: Shannan Yorton Penna

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself ? 
Shannan Yorton Penna: My name is Shannan Yorton Penna and I am a foodie! Ever since I can remember I have loved food, making food, baking food, and creating food. I played with my food as a small child and loved to mix things together and bake things, and my mom probably new then I was going to be a chef of some sort. I feel in love with fitness and specifically weight training at the young age of 15 years old. I knew immediately that the gym was going to be "my world" as it allowed me the same creative expression as cooking and baking did. The two things became so intertwined in this new found world of mine and soon I was reading every magazine and cook book that interested me to gain knowledge into the world of health and fitness, and soon I realized how married they are. You really can't have one without the other. I was a personal trainer for 17 years before starting Quest Nutrition. I began competing in NPC Figure competitions in 2006 and competed until 2012.

Sarah Velasco: How did you get started? 
Shannan Yorton Penna: Quest became real in 2010. It was born from my love of food but, more from my love of great nutrition. I loved protein bars! The ease of them, taking them in your bag whenever you go, getting in protein at any time... but I loved more the idea of what protein bars could be and should be, but just weren't. I kept eating them trying to convince myself they were healthy, that the sugar wasn't so bad, that the weird ingredients in there were ok. Deep down I knew it wasn't and more than that, I didn't want to eat those ingredients but, it was all that existed. I tried my hand at making protein bar recipes I found online or, read about in magazines but they were so full of carbs of every kind from fruit, to oats, and I just really wanted a low carb option. But how? How do you make them low carb? Thorough research and experimentation and lots of trail and error, and with new innovative ingredients, I eventually created Quest Bars.

Sarah Velasco: What does an average day look like for you. What does your job entail?
Shannan Yorton Penna: My day, everyday is filled with research and development of new bar flavors, new products and product ideas, ingredient research and lots of taste testing. Some days I'm covered in protein powders and some days its nut butters and my protein chocolate.

Sarah Velasco: Are Quest bars just designed for athletes? 

Shannan Yorton Penna: Quest Bars were and are intended for any and everyone. My goal was to develop a protein bar that could fit anyone's lifestyle. Diabetics who can't and shouldn't be eating sugar/carbs can eat Quest Bars daily, to the person who doesn't eat all day because "they just don't have time" can eat Quest Bars eaily on the go. I wanted the marathoner, the stay at home mom, the bodybuilder, the crossfit athlete, the everyday gym goer, the person who is to busy to stop to eat a real meal, and anyone else who needs protein in their diet. It's gluten free whether or not you need that... they are soy free, Quest Bars do not contain any maltodextrin, glucose syrups, tapioca syrups or brown rice syrups... They have 20-21 grams of protein per bar... they have high fiber from plant based sources... Quest bars contain fat only from nuts and nut butters.

Sarah Velasco: What types of products do you have? 
Shannan Yorton Penna: Currently Quest Nutrition produces Quest Protein Bars in 16 flavors and Quest Cravings PB Cups. We are also close to launching 5 new lines of products that everyone will be so excited about I am sure.

Sarah Velasco: How is Quest different from other products on the market? 
Shannan Yorton Penna: Quest Nutrition products are so different from other products on the market for what we don't have in them rather than what we do have in them. We use only the highest quality proteins, no sugar, no preservatives and no fillers of any kind.

Sarah Velasco: What kind of ingredients does Quest have? 

Shannan Yorton Penna: High quality whey and milk isolate proteins, almonds, cashew or, peanuts, and plant based high fiber source called IMO. Simple, clean, easy!

Sarah Velasco: Can any of these bars replace meals?

Shannan Yorton Penna: Yes Quest Bars can replace meals. I always suggest and advise people eat foods such as chicken, beef, fish, vegetables etc.. first but, if you cant get a real meal in because you're too busy, you're on the run, or, you're just not in the mood that day for a food meal, grab a Quest Bar. You can also bake with Quest bars!!! They make amazing pie crusts, poptarts, cookies and so much more! Check out recipes at www.blog.questproteinbar.com or, our facebook page facebook.com/QuestNutrition

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find Quest products? 

Shannan Yorton Penna: You can find Quest products at www.QuestNutrition.com or, all GNC stores, all Vitamin Shoppe locations, and any online supplement store such as bodybuilding.com, iHerb.com, VitaCost.com, Amazon.com and Netrition.com to name a few.

Sarah Velasco: Anything else you would like to add?

Shannan Yorton Penna: Please check out Quest Apparel at www.QuestApparel.com for great quality clothing with subtle inspirational messages that you can choose from to fit your goals and your life.