In 2006, when Andrew Eckhardt purchased Linda’s Diet Delites, a Clark-based supermarket selling prepared diet foods, he never imagined he would launch a new line of guilt-free yet healthy baked goods.
The recently launched ThinSlim Foods use oat fiber and almond flour instead of wheat flour and erythritol instead of sugar. Known as a ‘sugar alcohol,’ this fermented product is nearly calorie-free.
Similar to the more well-known stevia, “Erythritol is considered a natural alternative to sugar and is superior to other options,” Eckhardt asserts. “It doesn’t have an aftertaste, and it does not cause any G.I. distress.”
When he entered the diet food business at age 23, the ink was barely dry on Eckhardt’s finance degree from Babson College in Massachusetts. He was working at a Connecticut hedge fund. The Linda’s diet food store was going out business, and he saw it as “an interesting niche” for his entrepreneurial aspirations.
He turned the little market into a superstore and added ecommerce. Revamping the online presence turned the business around, and it has kept growing, he says.
Growing up in Summit, Eckhardt never considered himself overweight. “But in my high school years," he admits with a chuckle, "I was not beach-worthy."
In college, he took up amateur body-building and adopted a healthy diet to keep trim and fit.
Now he starts each day with one of his Thin Slim bagels, packing just 60 calories and 13 grams of fiber and protein, and only 2 grams of net carbs. His alternative is a 50-calorie slice of toast made from one of his ThinSlim breads–plain, rye, honey, cinnamon or everything.
The brownies are one of his biggest sellers. “Everyone loves brownies,” Eckhardt says, “and when they see they can eat one for only 45 calories, it seems almost too good to be true.”
The ThinSlim line includes cookies, muffins, pizzas and blondie squares that can be purchased online or at various specialty stores.
Linda’s Diet Delites
1049A Raritan Road
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