Welcome to a world where normal is boring.
That's our world. Simon and I started TrueStart to prove a point; that you can take the path less travelled and build an awesome brand that makes people feel wild for life, without compromising on ethics - people or the planet.
We believe that life should be colourful and vibrant, just like our coffee!
Huge dinosaur brands dominate the coffee industry, with countless sugary, milky, poor quality products that do not resonate with our generation at all - we're worlds apart in terms of ethics and attitude to life. And don't get us started on the damage caused by the energy drinks industry... cold brew coffee is here to whip those guys into shape!
We're a Bristol-based startup and one of the fastest growing young drinks brands in the UK. We like to challenge how things are done, and our vision is to become the number one coffee choice for our generation, with products that win you over with not only with uniquely incredible taste, but their energy, ethics and provenance too. TrueStart is absolutely Wild for Life for a reason - we're bringing a festival mindset to the every day.
TrueStart provides energy for all of life’s experiences – from the everyday to the extraordinary. We're about encouraging people to embrace their wild side and to dive in to new adventures. We want you to own the unknown, be your boldest self, and go Wild for Life.
Where it all began
Our journey started in 2015 when Simon and I were triathlon training alongside busy office jobs, and searching for a coffee that gave us a boost without sending our hearts racing. After discovering that the caffeine in coffee is both varied and unpredictable, we developed the first coffee in the world to provide a boost with no crash thanks to a stable caffeine content. Armed with our brand new, super clean coffee (sourced from where I used to live in South America), we set out to make people feel great.
Day one was Simon and I in a field near Taunton, giving out shots of TrueStart to about 20 people that were running a 10k race, being really energetic and making them smile! We always knew that TrueStart was about more than just amazing coffee, we want to make people feel like they can take on the world.
Over the next two years, TrueStart quickly established itself as an exciting, respected brand within the fitness industry, winning a host of impressive awards, retailing in over 1000 UK outlets and exporting to several international markets.
However, there has always been more to us, and to TrueStart, than fitness alone. Simon and I stopped drinking alcohol in May 2017 and discovered Cold Brew Coffee. We saw a real gap for a cool adult soft drink on the go, in bars and at festivals (which we spend a lot of time at, being big music lovers!) TrueStart Nitro Coffee was born, followed by our range of innovative bottled Cold Brew Coffees that launched in summer 2018 alongside a rebrand that truly reflects who we are, and our "dive in" life philosophy. You can now find TrueStart Cold Brew Coffee in brilliant shops, bars and restaurants all over the UK and beyond - even as far afield as Taiwan!
Helena & Leo having fun at our London office roadshow
All this while we had our first baby, Leo, who was just 3 weeks old when the new products and brand refresh went live (he's now our top barista!)
We're changing nappies one minute and talking to suppliers the next, usually while cracking open a Cold Brew Coffee to keep us going!
In September 2018, we proudly opened TrueStart's very first wild for life 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 is a dream come true, and hopefully the first of many.
One of my favourite things about our cafe is that it we are with our customers all day every day. We can see what they want, what they like and what they dislike. Then we can help our partners (including other cafes) to really up their game and get it right. We are now on both sides of the retail table, and are loving experimenting with all kinds of interesting new drinks. We're stocking loads of other startup food and drink brands who are also challenging the status quo, and it's ace to be able to support them. You won't find a can of Coca Cola in sight.
Click here to find out more about our vibrant cafe space.
Business as a force for good
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 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.
Our original Home Brew range is 100% Colombian Arabica coffee from where our Founder Helena used to live. Our farmers are paid a fair price for their coffee and your purchase supports a local community support network which helps disadvantaged people from different regions of Colombia. Its mission is focused on nutrition, education such as toy libraries and computer rooms, natural disaster support, infrastructure and environmental preservation.
As we grow, we're sourcing new beans and creating new blends all the time and our Nitro and Cold Brew Coffee uses a specially developed blend drawing pure Arabica coffee from several different regions in South and Central America. We're proud to say that this blend is Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Because we are an independent business, with husband & wife founders, we try to work with family-run 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 hand-bottled in the UK by an independently owned plant, to our family owned Home Brew Coffee packers, 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!