Kamily Flores, of Elizabeth, has opened Craft Protein Bar, a place to get meal replacement shakes, protein coffee, tea, and more in downtown Cranford. When she’s not at Craft and running her business, Flores attends Union College of Union County, New Jersey and studying business marketing. Inspired by her parents’ own success in running a health and wellness business, Flores plans to put her business degree at Union to good use as she aspires to expand Craft in the future.
At only 19 years old, Flores decided to open her business with encouragement from her parents, who immigrated to the United States when they were 19, making Flores a first-generation American and College student. The concept for Craft came from her own experience. Flores and her parents wanted to be healthier, so they created their own drinks and replacement shakes, experimenting with different combinations and flavors. As they continued making the shakes, the family lost a combined 60 pounds and gained significantly more energy.
Fast forward to December 2022, when Flores decided to take her family’s original recipes and bring them to the public by opening Craft. Some of the most popular drinks from the menu include the Cookie Monster, Fruity Pebbles, and the Jolly Rancher. Each drink has at least 30 grams of protein and is less than 300 calories.
Arguably, many people who want to open a business never do so due to fear of failure. “You never know until you take the risk,” stated Flores. “I have nothing to lose. There’s a health problem in the United States and everyone is on the go. At Craft, you can quickly grab something delicious, and you know you’re getting something healthy.”
When she’s not at Craft, Flores is studying business marketing at Union. Flores appreciates the flexibility and scheduling that Union offers, as she needs to have time in her day to run her business in between completed her business homework assignments.