Few fitness fans would turn a bugbear about the lack steamed broccoli in Canary Wharf into a burgeoning business idea - but Carli Wheatley has done just that.
The personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club faced a daily dilemma of wanting to buy simple, fresh veggies to fuel her 15-hour days in E14, but there was no outlet to dish up the food in its most basic cooked form.
Coupled with a passion for nutrition and a drive to help others achieve their body aims she set up nutrition shake brand Protein Haus in a snazzy hut outside Canary Wharf Tube.
That was six months ago.
This week, the budding entrepreneur expanded her fitness food empire to a unit in the heart of Canada Place Mall.
The 32-year-old insists her offering is simple, yet it is treading new ground in east London.
“Our ethos is to cater for every diet known to man or woman,” she said.
“Whether that’s paleo, low carb, CrossFit, someone on WeightWatchers even who says ‘can you help me with that’, that’s our goal.
“If you’ve got a specific aim, but you don’t have time to prepare the food, we help you to be able to get out of the house and follow your diet.
“It’s different - noone else is doing anything like it.
“Noone’s cottoned on.
“There’s loads of what I call fake health foods - they’re branded healthy because there are healthy things in it - but they are high in sugar.
“Normally people that run businesses are business people, not fitness people, they don’t understand it.
“But they will have to soon because the customers are demanding it.
“We’re on the cusp of that at the moment which is very exciting.
The bigger space inside the shopping hub means the Fitness Food offering has expanded.
So in addition to prepared dinners like chicken and brown rice and the signature thick Green Machine and Protein Snickers shakes, expect everything from Snickers-inspired bars, healthy slush puppies, protein soups, bagels and even vegan cookies.
All have a shelf life of one to two days and shakes can be made to match specific requirements on the spot.
Those counting calories can clue up on all the nutritional information inside the goodies.
And sweet treats such as muffins come in at less than 200.
Carli plans to introduce a Protein Haus weekly timetable with specific shakes on particular days - with Friday reserved as a cheat day for her guilty pleasures, such as protein packed Slush Puppies.
Meanwhile a kiosk launched the same day means she can provide nutritional consultations along with some of her suppliers.
“I’m not trying to push a diet on anyone - it’s us helping you, there is no other focus,” she added.
“I think there’s a place for everyone - so for when you’re wanting to eat a burger, and when you’re wanting to eat healthy.
“It’s about fitting in and catering for needs.
“We will allow you to get the results in health and fitness and people will be surprised how nice brown rice and broccoli is, and how filling an energising it is.
“And it’s OK to go ‘what the hell do I have?’
“We’re here to help you, that’s important, and we want people to ask us stuff.
“I’ve been into personal training and nutrition since I was 17 - even anyone starting on a journey and starting to learn can’t match the knowledge and passion I have.
“It’s rare to have an opportunity to run a business with that passion.”
Chief administrative officer at Canary Wharf Group Camille Waxer tucked into her Strawberry Warrior shake and added: “She’s our star of the year.”
Also Online: Top 5 things to have at Protein Haus