Introducing SY1 Protein

SY1 Protein  

I am so pleased to welcome Duncan and Sam McGregor to Buy-From Shropshire with their business SY1 Protein and Vegan Voodoo. I had the pleasure of interviewing them to find out more about this new and exciting business. 


Duncan & Sam McGregor



We both work full time jobs and run run SY1 Protein and Vegan Voodoo in our spare time.  This is everything from recipe development, hand making the products, running the online store, selling at regular Shrewsbury markets and more.


How would you describe your brands and products?

SY1 Protein is the healthier fitness focussed brand (the nice side).  If you’re hankering for a pre or post workout snack then you can grab one of our bars or energy balls to keep you going and know that they aren’t going to spoil your diet or fitness plan.  They are free from all the strange additives and unpronounceable ingredients you will find on commercially packaged bars and above all taste amazing!  

Raw Cacao Protein Energy Balls


We only use natural ingredients and try to limit what we add in to make the bars as clean as possible. We clearly displays the macros for our SY1 range to help people following any healthy diet or lifestyle make the right choice on what to eat. Everything we sell in SY1 Protein is gluten free, with no refined sugars and the majority is vegan friendly.


Vegan Voodoo is the more naughty side, it’s allowed us to be a bit more adventurous with the brand but at the same time ensuring it is all 100% vegan, with no refined sugars and all gluten free.  Here we currently have a small but growing range of dairy free cheesecakes, along with vegan versions of old favourites like Snickers, Millionaire slices and Bounty bars and have plenty more products in development.

Boxed Cacao Energy Balls 

How did you start?


We weren’t always so active and didn’t care that much what we were eating, a weekday night was a takeaway or a ready meal in front of the TV, and we thought walking up Haughmond Hill once a month was good for us.


Not sure exactly when it changed but we started clean eating and exercising around 4 years ago now, and have never felt better.  My only downfall was always the sweet stuff, I have such a sweet tooth that I constantly crave sweets or cakes and it’s been a struggle to resist.  For Sam it was never an issue as she’s more of a savoury foods person and happy eating pickles and crisps than chocolate.

I would walk round Shrewsbury food festival and never really find any sweet treats, cakes that I could eat without having to go and run for an hour to burn off or avoid due to my intolerences.


I think that’s when I decided that something needed to be done.  Being a lifelong entrepreneur I thought why not open a store. Sam always the voice of reason in our relationship urged caution, so rather than jump in and open up a shop, I opted to see what Shrewsbury thought via the monthly markets and the feedback from Shrewsbury has been absolutely amazing and my long term goal is to operate an independent store or stock other likeminded local businesses.


What’s special about SY1 Protein and Vegan Voodoo


I think if you follow a gluten free diet or are vegan you have all tried something sweet from the supermarket, thinking this is it! I have finally found a gluten free alternative only to find it tastes like cardboard or just has that bitter sweetener taste that hangs around in your mouth for hours.


All too often now if you look on the back of packaging for protein bars or even gluten free products the lists of ingredients is endless with most of them unpronounceable, like they have been imported from Jupiter or something.


Our aim was to change that, so we ensure its all handmade, at home and we also try to limit our ingredients using only plant based ingredients and plant based sweeteners like maple syrup, date syrup or agave.  We think it’s so important that you can be fully aware of not just what you’re eating, but what your family and children are eating as well.



What do you love most about your job?


Probably meeting everyone on the market days when we are our selling our products.  The positivity and the encouragement we’ve received has been amazing, people are travelling from all over Shropshire when they know we have an event on.  The Vegan community has been really supportive and I have to mention Colin Mackenzie who is doing some sterling work promoting local vegan businesses and really helped promote us in and around Shropshire.


What is your best selling product? Why do you think that is?


It’s got to be our cheesecakes, raw millionaire slices and snicky slices! People are going mad for these and they can’t believe you can get such healthier options with no diary, no refined sugar and gluten free that taste so good. 


The cheesecakes are all popular flavours, like chocolate orange, chocolate peanut butter and more zesty lemon and lime flavours and we have sold out both times we have had them up for sale.


 What new products do you have coming out?

We have a range of roll your own energy balls coming out really soon, we are just putting the final touches to the packaging design and flavours and hope to have them ready for the first week in December. 


You basically open up the packet, the mixture is there ready to use with nothing you need to add, just roll them into balls, cover them in whatever topping you desire and gobble them up!


We will also be doing a range of Christmas pudding energy balls at our last 2 events for 2016, so you can catch us and buy them at the Farmers market on the 2 December and also at the cruelty free fair in the Wightman Theatre on the 10 December.  Fear not you will be able to buy them from our online store with free collection from selected locations in Shrewsbury up until the last week of Christmas.


In early 2017 we are also releasing our quirky Voodoo Chocolate boxes, and don’t think there’s anything like them in the UK at the moment.


Do you have any special SY1 plans for Christmas


We will be offering free collection and a delivery day in the run up to Christmas for anyone looking to buy that special healthy/vegan gift for a loved one.  Other than that we love Christmas time and it’s a chance to recharge the batteries and enjoy it with our family here in Shropshire.


Favourite Food

Has to be doughnuts


Favourite tipple

Jamiesons whiskey


Favourite restaurant

La lanterna in Shrewsbury


Favourite hobby

Im a bit of a geek at heart so spend most of my free time painting fantasy miniatures from Games Workshop.


Favourite place to visit in Shropshire

I think it has to be the quarry, its lovely to walk around any time of year, you never know who you will meet or what wildlife you will see.



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