Athlete’s Brew represents the peak of physical fitness. The goal of Athlete’s Brew is to create drinks worthy of that high standard. That said, they strongly believe that superior physical fitness and health is something everyone should benefit from. That’s why they work hard to find and formulate drinks that can take a person’s performance to the next level, while still being delicious and affordable.
Being a startup company, their first product line that they found to represent these values is based around the Ecuadorian plant called ‘Guayusa’. This plant is brewed in the same way as a tea and is closely related to yerba mate, but a much smoother drink to enjoy.
They market guayusa as the number one source of caffeine and recommend using it instead of coffee or energy drinks. On their website, they have a number of articles explaining how and why it is so effective, as well as more about the history of Guayusa.
Where did the idea for Athlete’s Brew come from?
I still remember the thought process so clearly.
First I fell in love with my now, wife and business partner, Foo Hiu Ying. I was trying to imagine a shared future for us, something that would hold us together with a shared purpose for our lives.
The idea of Athlete's Brew itself came from these thoughts: “Q: What will people always need? A: Food and Drink”.
With my experience and interest in nutrition that had led me to a leisure centre where I met my wife, I found Athlete's Brew to be a very natural creation.
The severe lacking of nutritious drinks on supermarket shelves (especially at the time) strengthened our resolve.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Good question. I've been asking myself that a lot lately.
Sometimes you feel productive, but you're not. And sometimes you feel unproductive, but you're actually doing the best thing you can be doing at that moment.
It's a difficult and fine-balancing act on how to utilize yourself best. There are tons of books being written about the subject.
Recently, we've been going through a lot of changes since we're moving up to Manchester. But in general, I find a structured routine you can rely on frees up the mind to tackle the difficulties of business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
Getting regular exercise gives me the mental toughness to deal with larger challenges without losing sleep over them.
What advice would you give yourself when you first ventured to start your own business?
It may seem like a simple question, but for me that is a very hard one.
I generally don't like giving advice anyway. Every person's position is so unique and so complicated.
I have no regrets for the actions that have led me to where I am now. So, I guess I wouldn't say anything to my younger self in case it made things worst.
I'm happy to be working alongside my wife on something we both believe in. I don't want to trample on any butterflies!
What is the one thing you do over and over again and recommend everyone else do?
Keep the end in mind.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Our business is still quite small, so I am not sure we're the people to ask. I would say we have barely begun to grow.
The overall goal is to do as much as possible with as little as possible; so be resourceful, creative and ready to push yourself. But always keep some in the bank for real opportunities.
If you want to grow big you're going to want a plan for scaling. If you can't imagine how your company can grow (down to the smallest detail), then it's unlikely it will happen by accident.
It must be nurtured and pruned so that it grows the way you want it.
What's one trend in the F&B industry that excites you?
Hahaha... Just one? It's 2021! They're growing meat in labs, vegetables in fog and farms are growing on our roofs!
The industry is moving fast, but If I had to choose; the trend of non-alcoholic beer has my attention. It's just brilliant.
Our overarching goal is to make Britain more healthy, and what is going to achieve that better than delicious non-alcoholic beer?
The technology is unfortunately beyond our own capacity at the moment, but I watch with awe.
What is the best £20 you recently spent? What and why?
Probably the file organizer. When we started the business, I would write down every crazy idea that came to my head.
I ended up with so much paper I could have bathed in it, twice. Now they are organized and ready for action!
What is your favourite quote?
Different quotes for different situations.
If you're trying to surmount (seemingly) insurmountable odds (most small business with grand ambitions); I like this one from Georges St-Pierre;
"I've trained myself to fight an army, so one guy will not defeat me."
What are some of your favourite places to eat at?
My parents’ house and my wife's cooking.
My parents have got very creative in their efforts to reduce meat consumption, it's always a pleasure. And my wife can treat me to some wonderful Cantonese dishes.
Other than that, I like to try new things! So, anywhere that sounds interesting that I haven't been.
What's the best thing to order from Athlete’s Brew?
Get our loose leaf guayusa.
It is the best way to drink guayusa (so far), and guayusa is the best way to get caffeine.
Are there any exciting plans coming from Athlete’s Brew soon?
If I told you what they were, I would have to kill you.
What I can say is our guayusa tea products are just the beginning. We have a bathtub of ideas, from ways to improve the environmental impact of the beverage industry to a long list of delicious recipes for alternatives to unhealthy existing products.
Call us fascist, but we won't stop until every Coca-Cola and Redbull is removed from every shelf in every supermarket.
Athlete’s Brew currently operates online mostly. Our office and manufacturing address is currently in London but we are in the process of moving. Our new address as of end of April 2021 will be in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Find out about Dev and Gaurav who are bringing Burmese food to the UK next.