Marquez Fernandez

Marquez Fernandez

Co-Founder of The Dough Bar

My wife Ondrea and I were actually dating at the time about five and a half years ago in California. I was working at a hospital and she was at a tech startup in Silicon Valley. We’ve both always been very into health and fitness, and we’re both active gym-goers. One day we were at the gym and I was getting my cardio in on the bike just scrolling through instagram — I follow a bunch of foodies and athletes, and this idea kind of just hit me.

When you eat a protein bar, you’re doing it for the macros or settling instead of having a treat. But, why settle? 

So, I kid you not, I stand up mid-workout, walk over to Ondrea and start explaining my idea of making protein donuts and shipping them across the country. The next day we went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought a ton of cooking and baking equipment. Here we then are in Ondrea’s 400 square foot studio apartment in Silicon Valley surrounded by what looked like a chemistry project, and honestly no real game plan. I was on YouTube every day looking at different recipes trying to perfect our donuts. Then finally after giving out a ton of samples to friends and family we got to a recipe we felt we could sell and we set a launch date. 

It’s funny because my initial goal was to be an anesthesia nurse. That’s really what I had been working towards in life. The Dough Bar, even when we had started was meant to be something fun we did on weekends to make a bit of extra money. When we launched we had 20 orders within the first few weeks. Then orders jumped to 25, then 30. I remember thinking to myself, “wow people really like these things.” Weeks later it then turned into 100 orders. Then we sold out completely in one day. 

At this point I put my nursing career on pause because I knew the medical field wasn’t going anywhere, and I jumped in full time with The Dough Bar. A few months later Ondrea did the same.

The Dough Bar