Mike Cust, Diamond Nation’s assistant GM, checks in on the facility’s newest field.
The old saying, “The Proof is in the Pudding” couldn’t be more apropos for the thriving Flemington, N.J. business Cipriano and Sharin Pereira have built over the past 10 years.
Every bit of the natural ingredients in its products and the elbow grease of these meticulous owners have been critical to making Musclelicious Foods’ protein puddings, protein bars and protein balls the very best in this very specific market.
Perhaps that is why the marriage of Musclelicious Foods and Diamond Nation is such a natural. Each offers an elite level of service for its customers with the promise to deliver exactly that on a daily basis.
Diamond Nation Baseball and Softball Complex announces it is entering into a major sponsorship agreement with Musclelicious Foods, ensuring a long-lasting relationship between two local enterprises with national name recognition that boast the same valued-added approach to customer service.
Since mid-May, baseball and softball fans have watched as Diamond Nation’s newest field rises beyond Field 5, along River Road. Musclelicious Foods is a driving force behind the complex’s expansion and both companies anxiously anticipate the new field’s Sept. 1 opening day.
The new field, according to Diamond Nation General Manager Nick Massari, will match the dimensions of the other four major league diamonds at the facility but he says, “The field will be fitted with the newest type of turf that will have a more natural play to it.”
Additionally the stands behind home plate will have bleacher stadium seating. “And we are hoping to build some type of Green Monster in left field,” says Massari.
Phase two of the project will include adding a scoreboard and perhaps batting cages and a snack stand at that end of the complex.
And, of course, Musclelicious Foods will have an obvious presence at the new field.
The details of ‘MF’s’ inception and the Pereiras determination to first share with friends and then sell a healthy product that their customers thoroughly enjoy are truly an American success story.
“We met in a gym 25 years ago,” says Sharin, and the two quickly learned they had many of the same interests, none more obvious than their love for fitness and bodybuilding and learning new ways to improve their approach to healthy eating.
“Everything we eat comes with a cost and, of course, must be high in protein,” says Cip. “Nutrition is so critical to how we feel everyday. We should be acutely aware of what we eat.”
While each pursued and succeeded in their respective fields – Cip in I.T. and Sharin in international shipping – that quest for continually improving muscle strength and overall quality health never waned. Cip, in fact, started tinkering with little concoctions that centered around one of his favorite treats, pudding.
“We created MF Protein Puddings 20 years ago initially for our personal enjoyment,” Cip recalls. “I just started trying different healthy concoctions to pair with puddings.” None of those ingredients included sugar. So Cip knew he had to be creative to provide a taste that would make him come back for more.
Musclelicious started for Cip and Sharin as a way of providing a tasty and healthy meal substitute for themselves. Soon they would begin sharing the puddings with their friends. It wasn’t long before they realized they had a business opportunity presenting itself. Indeed, their delicious products would soon reach a national customer base.
“I found the right essential ingredients to our diet, providing the protein, carbs, fiber, etc. our bodies craved daily,” said Cip. “They curbed our cravings for the sugary stuff and the consistently satisfactory appetite results speak for themselves.”
The Pereiras began selling their puddings in assorted flavors by word of mouth while each maintained successful careers. But, soon, Cip and Sharin would be faced with a life-altering decision about what had quickly become a pudding success story.
“What’s amazing,” says Cip, “is that we created the puddings with the fitness and body building crowd in mind. But once we opened our original store in Easton (Pa.) 10 years ago, we found we were serving everyone from kids to senior citizens because they loved the taste of our puddings. We also soon found we had customers with specific conditions like diabetes and celiac disease and the pudding meals fit nicely into their daily diets.”
Cip says a very high percent of MF’s clientele are not body builders and he and Sharin anticipate a burgeoning business with young athletes.
“Our healthy puddings can be used both as a snack and meal replacement and are easily digestible,” says Cip. “Ballplayers can use the pudding as a snack between games and comfortably go right out and play.”
Healthy food choices remain critical to the Pereiras’ health and fitness profile.
“Staying fit doesn’t mean starving to lose weight,” says Sharin, “or eating tasteless foods. You deserve to have a delicious food that does not hamper your fitness goals and keeps your appetite satisfied while having the benefits of keeping yourself energetic and healthy.”
Taste has always been forefront in Cip’s and Sharin’s approach to mixing ingredients that are, at the very same time, 100 percent healthy for their customers, hence the broad breadth of pudding flavors, nearly 30 in all, offered by MF Foods. Quality taste also makes the puddings an easy sell.
Cip and Sharin oversee every step in the preparation of MF Puddings, Protein Bars and Balls.
“I want our customers to enjoy a product that is 100 percent healthy and delivers great taste, too,” says Cip.
Cip and Sharin do not farm out any of their product’s preparation. It is an all-hands-on operation that delivers a consistently excellent product desired on a national scale.
It’s not difficult to discern how Diamond Nation and Musclelicious Foods were drawn to each other.
The puddings come in 8-ounce snack and 16-ounce meal sizes, which act as an excellent healthy and appetite-filling meal replacement.
“Our puddings provide a great combination of complex carbs and protein that makes you feel like you’re genuinely cheating on your diet.”
MF Foods has been based in Flemington more than a year in the Stop & Shop shopping center on Route 31, just north of HealthQuest Fitness Center. While Cip and Sharin do a robust next-day delivery business, they also provide a large walk-in business and, during this time of pandemic, have provided a curbside pickup service.
“It has always been our goal to sell a premier product made by hand,” says Cip, “ with complete preciseness and the highest quality possible. And we saw a great need in the marketplace for a high quality unique meal replacement product high in protein.
“As the idea for our business started to evolve, not only did we want our company to reflect sustainability and transparency, but we wanted to create great tasting products that also provide benefits for your daily diet, no different than you would for yourself and your family. That’s our MF mission every day.”
Diamond Nation is located at 129 River Road in Flemington, N.J.
Musclelicious Foods is located at 334 Rt. 31 North, Unit 2, Flemington, N.J. Pudding orders can be placed as well at MuscleliciousFoods.com