If you read my last post with Tim Pipp from Beeze Tees, you may have noticed a trend by now: I love stories about small businesses supporting their communities and pivoting toward growth.
So, without belaboring the point, I read about a college graduate who launched his own sports recovery protein powder here in New Hampshire. I had questions and needed answers. Like, how on earth does a young person launch a business in the middle of a pandemic?
So, I reached out to Jack Schrupp, founder of Drink Wholesome on Facebook to learn a bit more.
The Beginning of Drink Wholesome
Schrupp grew up in Gilford, New Hampshire and still enjoys spending his weekends hiking in the White Mountains. While he was in college, he laid the foundation of what would be his business.
As an endurance athlete, I wanted a sports drink that was additive-free, dairy-free and tasted great, but I couldn’t find it.
So, he did what any entrepreneurial, Granite Stater would do: he created it for himself.
Schrupp started experimenting with flavors by mixing foods that he liked. He wasn’t expecting to create a product to be put on store shelves, but, as friends began tasting and sharing his recipes and giving him feedback, he realized the opportunity.
After perfecting his recipes over six months and collaborating with local supply chains and manufacturers, he launched Drink Wholesome at the beginning of 2020. He planned to promote his protein powders organically during the summer at running and mountain bike races to connect with local athletes.
Adapting During COVID
Unfortunately, like other businesses, the pandemic forced Schrupp to have to pivot and adjust his business model.
Because of COVID, manufacturing shut down a lot of places and we weren’t able to get what we needed,” Schrupp said. “The supply chain fell apart, and we had to scramble to piece it all back together.
Rather than focusing on in-person events, Drink Wholesome created an e-commerce platform, which included free samples to help spread the word.
“We’ve been growing because we had to adapt quickly,” he said, “Not many businesses can say that during the time of COVID.”
Looking Toward the Future
New Hampshire is a great place for my business and me personally,” Schrupp said. “It was a long time before the idea came into my head of putting [my recipes] on a shelf.
Although Schrupp admits that although he’s not running his business quite how he had imagined, by being scrappy he’s been able to grow his personally funded, bootstrap business and connect with people locally.
For Drink Wholesome, Schrupp’s goal goes beyond that of creating a tasty and healthy post-workout shake but rather to create a New-England-based brand that sources real food ingredients for anyone.