Fattyhead began as a labor of love: a path toward a more healthful diet that transformed into a booming business for Kansas City native Laura Manivong.
“I started feeling better, I started having energy and my body stopped hurting as much,” said Manivong, creator of her own low-carb, ketogenic pizza crust.
Manivong’s journey started 18 months ago with experimentation into keto-friendly recipes. She shared them on social media and quickly noticed a demand for her pizza crusts, Manivong said.
“I had people saying on Facebook, ‘I want it,’ so I built a website, then I started taking orders and meeting people at QuikTrips around the metro on Saturday mornings,” she said.
Fattyhead Keto Crust was born — the result of public demand for a niche of healthy foods that don’t compromise on flavor, Manivong said.
“The market is absolutely there,” she said, “and it just took somebody to come in and do it.”
The secret, Manivong, added, is in the in the low-carb, high-protein almond flour she uses in her recipe.
“That’s the reason nobody has filled my niche yet, because nobody wants to pay for the almond flour,” she said.
That changed, however, when William Walker, owner of Old Shawnee Pizza, approached Manivong after repeated requests from his customers for a low-carb keto-friendly pizza crust. He initially placed an order for 90 crusts — 30 for each of his three KC-area locations.
“We got in that first Monday with 90 crusts, which [Walker] thought might last a week,” Manivong explained, “but they were sold out the same day by 7 o’clock.”
Walker ordered an additional 270 crusts that week and 500 the next, she said.
Manivong attributes part of her early success to the legal and physical resources provided by The Ennovation Center, a business development incubator located in Independence.
“They’ve gotten me to this legal point where I can actually sell to the public,” Manivong said. “So I pay a monthly fee, and I can work as many hours as I want to here and scale up. I have a lot of room to scale up here.”
Going forward, Manivong hopes to establish a footprint in the region.
“I’m going to retail it out of OMG Coffee and Donuts out of Blue Springs, and I’m in the works to do Whole Foods,” she said.
In the meantime, Fattyhead Keto Crust can be found at Old Shawnee Pizza and online at Fattyhead.kitchen
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.