Hi, I'm Helena - Co-Founder here at TrueStart Coffee! It's ace to meet you.
My husband Simon and I originally had the idea for TrueStart 7 years ago, when we were triathlon training and on the road a lot with work. We were drinking loads of coffee to keep us going, and it just wasn't doing the job! I'm quite sensitive to caffeine, and sometimes I would get heart palpitations or even feel sick after a cuppa, when other times I felt like it didn't give me a boost at all.
We discovered something pretty mindblowing - that the caffeine level in coffee varies massively! This totally explained how we were feeling, and we thought - surely we're not the only people in the world who think a reliably caffeinated, super clean coffee would be AWESOME - coffee that makes you feel great every time, with no crash and no jitters. Coffee that is super clean, and doesn't need filling with milk and sugar.
So we set out to create a coffee that is better for you, and TrueStart was born!
We launched our first product in 2015 - our now legendary Barista Grade Instant Coffee. We developed the first coffee in the world to provide a boost with no crash thanks to a reliable, stable caffeine content.
Our coffee is sourced from where I used to live in Colombia - it's super clean and tastes amazing black or white, hot or cold. It's better for you.
The original healthy coffee
Looking back, our original packaging was hilariously basic, but it didn't matter. We were on a relentless mission from day one: spreading massive positive energy through shots of TrueStart dished out to runners, cyclists and triathletes across the UK. People were feeling the positive energy and we grew our community through hundreds of events and amazing word of mouth.
I'll never forget our first ever event. We rocked up to a tiny running event in a field near Taunton, where we found about twenty freezing cold, unhappy-looking runners standing around in the rain. We put smiles on their faces with a barrage of positive energy and plenty of shots of TrueStart Coffee! They transformed into energised, happy people who ran their race and came back to us to tell us about their PBs before skipping off back to their cars!
That day, we saw first hand the genuine, meaningful impact you can have on someone's day with true positive energy. We have no doubt that those runners went on to spread that positive energy to others, and that's why we exist - to spread massive positive energy and make people feel like they can take on the world.
To make your mark, you need to feel good.
Positive energy is how we unlock our creative brains, our potential, our true selves. We firmly believe that every individual has something uniquely awesome to bring to the party, and TrueStart exists to help unlock that incredible collective potential. Your natural energy for life.
We've been making TrueStarters across the globe feel able to take on anything, ever since.
And the family continues to grow..
Since TrueStart was born, we've had two of our own (human!) children and are even more determined to show them that they don't have to be slaves to the status quo. I never want the next generation to believe that it's "just the way things are", and we hope that TrueStart gives every generation the positive energy needed to face the big challenges in our world today.
Helena & Baby Leo having fun at our London office roadshow
More products have joined the TrueStart family, too. We have a masterbrand approach to our healthy, clean coffee - we want you to feel amazing wherever, whenever and whyever you need a positive energy boost.
Our delicious, naturally energising Cold Brewed Drinks joined the family in 2020 and are the only flavoured chilled coffees in the world with no sugar, no calories and no sweeteners. We're so proud of these totally unique products.
We also have a phenomenal range of super clean, specialty grade freshly roasted coffee beans and ground coffees. They're super tasty and super quality; naturally rich in antioxidants and independently lab tested to be free from mycotoxins. They're also affordable - we work really hard to make our pricing fair throughout our supply chain and to you, our customers, too.
The latest addition to our product family is our wonderfully convenient, eco-conscious Barista Coffee Bags. Like a tea bag, but for our fresh coffee and boasting our signature big flavour!
TrueStart Coffee Shop
In September 2018, we proudly opened TrueStart's very first wild for life Coffee Shop / Cafe Bar in Bristol's city centre, as part of an exciting collaboration with the fantastic new startup co-working space, Runway East. Bringing our vibrant, healthy, hyper-sustainable approach to coffee to life in this way was a dream come true.
One of my favourite things about our coffee shop was being with our customers all day every day. Seeing what they want, what they like and what they dislike. Then being able to help our partners (including other coffee shops!) to really up their game and get it right. We now know what it's like on both sides of the retail table, loving experimenting and stocking other startup food and drink brands who are also challenging the status quo. Thanks to Covid, the cafe has been transformed into a self-serve lounge but maybe one day a fully fledge TrueStart Coffee Shop will come back!
TrueStart's customers have always lived right in the heart of our business, you've been a massive part of our story since that field near Taunton on day one! We'll never breach our values in trying to please everyone, but we'll always involve you, be open and honest and share our reasons for all the decisions we make.
We really do believe that business can be a force for good, and are really proud to be B Corp Certified.
One of my most-loved projects is how we're making a difference in one of the world's poorest communities; Chilomoni in Malawi.
We've partnered with Cycle of Good, a fantastic charity who have trained a talented team of female tailors in how to transform our used hessian coffee sacks and old bike tyres into beautiful Shopper Bags and Duffel Bags that we buy at a fair price and sell onto you on a not-for-profit basis. These wonderful women receive holiday and sick pay, and they now have a stable income for their families. You can read more about our Bags of Good here.
Because we are an independent family business, with husband & wife founders, we try to work with other independent businesses as much as possible. We understand what it means when people buy your products and we want to share that awesome feeling with as many other small independent businesses as we can.
So, we do exactly that - from our Cold Brew Coffee which is brewed and canned in the UK, to our family-owned warehousing and logistics team - our whole supply chain is truly part of Team TrueStart and we wouldn't have it any other way.
It's also a joy to share the ups and downs of business life and fight the good fight together!
We don't do things by halves but we thrive on diving into the unknown. Life shouldn't be predictable, because normal is boring!