Breaking a sweat in the gym three to four times a week is normally what the doctor orders. It will make you feel happy, help you gain muscles, and reduce the risk of many diseases. But as much as you would love to keep up with this healthy routine, it can feel daunting when you begin to involve nutrition. The more you have to think about your healthy lifestyle, the less you may want to do it, right? But instead of feeling the pressure of figuring out what to eat before and after a workout, there’s a way to overcome this obstacle so you can continue to exercise without wondering if that protein bar or green juice you had undone all the hard work you just put in. Thankfully, that’s where Revere, a plant-based protein powder that will give you the best workout ever, comes into play.
We met up with the founders of Revere at the ShadowBox’s Flatiron location to discuss how they came up with Revere, where they hope to see the business to go, and how they incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their busy routines. Meet Jasper (left), Alexandra (middle), and Matthew (right), the badass founders behind this next-level fitness product.
Jasper: Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. It’s a fairly normal suburb of NYC that counts an unusually high number of accomplished artists, musicians, etc. as residents.
Matthew: Boston, MA
Alexandra: Saint Paul, MN
Jasper: Brooklyn. Bed-Stuy to be exact.
Matthew: Rowayton, CT
Alexandra: Soho, NY
Dream travel destination?
Jasper: Changes month to month. Right now I’m fantasizing about renting a quaint little cabin deep in the woods somewhere out west. I love New York City but you’ve got to get the hell out every now and again.
Matthew: Cape Town, South Africa
Alexandra: The Wildebeest Migration in Kenya
Yoga or weight training:
Jasper: I do a ton of bodyweight exercises — pushups, pull-ups, etc. — so somewhere in between. I love to work out outside. Monkey bars are great for pull-ups.
Matthew: Weight Training… doing my best to fend off the dad bod.
Alexandra: Oooooh. I switch between the two. Cant choose! Y7 Yoga on days I need a sweat, and Uplift Training when I need to throw around heavy shit.
Best meal in all of NYC?
Jasper: Chicken and Waffles at Pies n Thighs (Williamsburg) is deadly. I lived a block away from it for three years.
Matthew: Lovely Day on Elizabeth in Nolita.
Must-have product from Revere?
Jasper: The natural Pre-Workout Energy is truly a game-changer. Having real energy and stamina makes a workout MUCH more enjoyable. And it’s super convenient to take with you.
Before we launched, I had a stash of samples that I’d give out to my friends. It was like crack — after a few tries, they’d beg me for more. I never want to exercise without it again.
Matthew: Our Energy Formula – it’s the only thing that gets me out of bed in the AM.
Alexandra: The Pre-Energy Peach Tea is a game changer. Drink it, wait 15 minutes, and have the best workout of your life.
Favorite healthy snack?
Jasper: Banana with peanut butter. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life.
Matthew: Our Vanilla Chai post cardio formula — it’s like a smoothie meets a milkshake but I know it’s actually good for me.
Alexandra: Broken Coconut’s Ocean Mist Refresher
Do you have a sacred morning or night routine that you can’t live without?
Jasper: I try to wake up a solid three hours before I need to be in the office. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve always felt that my day shouldn’t start with work. Usually, I exercise in the morning, but sometimes, I’ll just drink coffee and read. By the time I get into work, I’ve already had part of the day to myself. Much better than spending the first hour at the office waking up.
Matthew: Running – getting out for a quick jog is really the only time I have to think, decompress and reflect on the chaos of new dad/start-up life.
Alexandra: I put out my clothes for the next day every single night. This is always two outfits: what I’m going wear to my morning workout, and then, what I’m going to pack and wear for the day. I started doing this for school at age six, and haven’t been able to kick the habit!
Jasper: I tweet back at Trump.
Matthew: Lobster rolls w/ fries – it’s a go-to order if I ever see it on a menu.
Alexandra: So many. The first that comes to mind, a $45 1-hour massage at Renew Spa every Sunday evening (before aforementioned guilty pleasure #2: that Sunday Night Burger at Raoul’s)
What was the inspiration behind starting Revere?
Jasper: Matt and I were training for the marathon and couldn’t figure out the right thing to eat before going for a long run. We went into a GNC and walked out feeling scared and confused.
Revere’s goal is to help normal people get the most out of their workouts, and more practically, to help people answer the age-old question, “what should I eat before/after I work out?” Not everybody has time to craft the perfect meal, and most people I know have no interest in the neon tubs of synthetic powders found at GNC. From a functional perspective, Revere gives people the benefits of whole foods with the convenience of supplements.
Matthew: Really just personal frustration. We – like pretty much all our friends – have always seen exercise as a central part of our lives. Not that we’re workout freaks or bodybuilders, exercise just makes you feel better both physically and mentally. But when it comes to nutrition – or what we should be putting into our bodies to get the most out of our exercise routines – we were totally lost. I never want to set foot in a GNC-type shop if I don’t have to and didn’t really know a brand I could trust to have my health and best interests in mind. So we decided to fix the problem for ourselves and the rest of the people out there feeling the same confusion and frustration.
Alexandra: At our spin studios (Cyc), I watched so many riders come through and push themselves too hard in our classes. They’d crush the workout, but then I would see them leave and drink a green juice with tons of hidden sugar, or eat a “protein” bar with synthetic ingredients. It was so frustrating because they were being marketed these “healthy” items but essentially undoing all the hard work they had just put in. In the same situation, my partners Jasper and Matt were training for a marathon, looking for something to fuel their long runs, what they found in the supplement aisle was disgusting. We saw this huge need in the market for clean, natural fitness nutrition for urban athletes looking for guidance.
Can you describe the process of choosing the ingredients that you thought were best? How did you decide what flavors would be sold?
Jasper: We built an amazing advisory board of PhDs in nutritional science and exercise, and challenged them to build a lineup of elite pre and post-workout formulas out of entirely natural ingredients. We ended up with amazing products built from natural ingredients like sweet potato, pomegranate, beetroot, pea protein, etc. When picking flavors, we leaned into the ingredients found in the formulas (for example, vanilla chai goes great with sweet potato).
Matthew: Frankly, we left the science to the scientists and experts. We wanted to be sure that all of our ingredients were simple, natural, effective and pronounceable. But we left the selections of the exact ingredients to our board of advisors who have decades of experience training the world’s best athletes and hold PhDs in nutritional science.
We asked people! All of our product decisions were driven by tons of consumer research and beta testing – we wanted to be sure that we were building products that everyone would love so incorporating our prospective customers into that process was critical to making sure we got things like taste right!
Alexandra: It was a lengthy process. We assembled a board including Mike Barwis, a human performance expert for Olympic and professional athletes. We paired him with Dr. Jen Sachek. She has a Ph.D. in nutritional science at Tufts, the leading nutrition school in the country. We actually had to convince her to come on board, as she believes that the power of whole foods is more effective than any supplement. She was able to find the most powerful nutrients nature offers, and we distilled them down into our on-the-go packets. Mike was there to ensure our ratios and ingredients were optimized to give the body tangible results.
How and why did you decide to sell products on a subscription basis?
Jasper: Results come from routine, and we want to help people stick to one. We’ve heard from a ton of customers that Revere has helped them become more structured in their workout regimen.
Matthew: In starting Revere, we didn’t just want to make better products than all the crap out there, we also wanted to make it simple and easy for people to incorporate our products into their day-to-day life. No one wants to go shopping for nutritional products… making Revere a subscription service means that people don’t ever have to think about what they need to be taking or when — a tailored plan just arrives on your doorstep and you’re good to go.
Alexandra: If you workout once, you won’t see a change, right? Same with nutrition. If people don’t build Revere into their weekly fitness routine, our formulas won’t affect change. A subscription removes any friction to stay on track. Revere arrives at your door monthly, and you can adjust your order anytime.
Matthew: What do you feel was the biggest challenge when creating Revere?
Finding great people is always an ongoing challenge. I’d say I totally underestimated the time and energy it takes to build a great team. Especially as a young company that nobody has heard of, it’s a challenge to attract people given how competitive the NYC tech scene is. Further, it’s even tougher to find the RIGHT people. As an early-stage company, you’re not looking for people who need a job….you’re looking for people that want to be part of a greater mission and believe in your vision. Easier said than done.
Has working out and living a healthy lifestyle always been a part of your life? What are some ways you try to incorporate it into your busy schedule?
Jasper: Yes — but I’m not a freak about health and never have been. I indulge in food and drink as much as the next person. Exercising frequently balances me out. I need to get a sweat in almost every day — it has a huge impact on my mood and productivity. Vanity has very little to do with it — I do it for my mental health. I can’t overstate how much better my morning commute is after having worked out (vs. having rolled out of bed).
Matthew: Totally – exercise has always been an outlet for me. Especially living in NYC – when you spend so much of your time inside and in front of a computer – finding a chance to clear your head and sweat out some city grunge is critical to staying sane. I try to start most [of my] days with [a] quick run outside (when the weather cooperates). Fresh air and the stillness of the day make it a really contemplative time to think about what I have ahead of me that day.
Alexandra: I’ve always been a runner, but it wasn’t until I was 24, and got salmonella poisoning that I changed my routine. Getting sick completely knocked me on my ass and I’ve never felt weaker. I saw a boot camp going on in the park and realized I needed to get stronger, so nothing could ever affect me so hard. The workout was army-style: bear crawls, push-ups, rope climbs, sprinting with gallons of water. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had to roll out my bed the next morning, and when I say roll, I mean I literally couldn’t sit up, so I rolled onto the floor and dragged myself. It was the worst, but also the best feeling in the world.
If I don’t start my day without a morning workout, I’m foggy. I need that one hour where I can’t reach for my phone, and no one can reach me. It’s no coincidence that my best ideas surface in the gym. I’m lucky because we have an incredible group of the top trainers in NYC who are part of our Revere Family. I plan fitness events around them for our customers, and I try to go support them in their classes a few times a week.
Jasper: Recently Revere raised 2 million dollars in seed funding. What do you hope to accomplish with this and how do you want this to fuel Revere’s mission?
The funding has helped us build a great product and a great team, and now it’s helping us reach our audience. In terms of a longer-term mission — if we can help more people become and stay active, I think we’ll sleep well at night.
Do you think if people knew what was truly in some of the protein drinks out there that they would switch to Revere? (Cause we’re convinced!)
Jasper: I sure hope so. [Have ] you ever read the ingredient list on a typical tub of “protein?” The industry is largely unregulated, so it’s rife with unsafe ingredients and false claims.
And of course the typical store-bought smoothie — while delicious — is filled with sugar. Our goal was to distill the perfect pre and post workout meals into a more convenient form.
Matthew: Totally. If you cant pronounce it, don’t eat (or drink) it. Period!!! Simple, natural plants are all you need….just ask mother nature. 🙂
Alexandra: Absolutely. Read your labels! I was horrified by what I found in other products. It made no sense, why market a product designed to make you healthier, only to include synthetic ingredients that hurt you in the long run? Often companies cut corners to make something less expensive to produce, or taste better with artificial flavoring. We built Revere with an aim to disrupt all that. That’s why every ingredient in our packets is something you can understand.
Our powders are more than just protein. We optimize our pea and rice protein with other powerful nutrients derived from whole foods. Revere is formulated with sweet potato, tart cherry, beetroot and more, to offer everything you need to get your best workout ever.
How do you define a healthy lifestyle?
Jasper: I’d say mental health is just as important as physical health, but they’re totally intertwined. I think 99 out of 100, people will tell you that they feel better when they’re exercising often. It has nothing to do with being a jock or an athlete — endorphins make you feel good, no matter who you are. It’s science.
Matthew: Balance in everything you do. So many people overcompensate in one way or another in the interest of “healthy” — whether it’s eliminating carbs or spinning seven times a week — they often end up worse off than when they started. Common sense and moderation can go a long way!
Alexandra: I have a quote I use: We don’t burn bridges, we run them. I’m vigilant in treating my relationships, both personal and professional, with respect and care. The only way I can stay healthy is through the support of those around me, so I do my best not to jeopardize that.
Alexandra: As someone who already has experience with creating a business, how do you feel your experience being a founder for a previous venture helped catapult the launch of Revere?
I made so many mistakes with Cyc! I’m able to avoid them this time around. I tend to have a lot of big crazy activation ideas and spend a lot of effort executing them. Now I have a much better feel for what will actually work, rather than spending a lot of time on something that may sound good in theory, but not actually convert to success.
Was ensuring the product was vegan something you wanted or did it just happen that way?
Jasper: We wanted our products to be as clean and minimal as possible, and plants are just cleaner than most of the other options out there. And just as powerful as anything else.
Matthew: A bit of both. When it came to developing our formulas, we actually turned to people for their thoughts, feedback and wants. We wanted to make sure we were building products that we not only were excited about but also that a broader cross-section of people wanted. Given the number of people, we heard from with lactose concerns and that were embracing vegan lifestyles, going plant-based only made sense. And once our nutritional board of advisors shared their research on the efficacy of plant-based ingredients, we knew it was the right choice.
Alexandra: It was very important to us that we created plant-based products. Not many people realize that whey protein is derived from cow’s milk — and dairy is filled with a lot of hormones humans shouldn’t eat. To keep our products as clean as possible, plant-based proteins were far and away the best solution.
Where do you hope to see Revere in the next few years? What’s next in terms of revolutionary products from you?
Jasper: We want our products to always be super functional and super clean. Right now we’re focused on fitness, but in the future, I could see us going into other parts of life — sleep comes to mind.
Matthew: We’re aiming to build an iconic but relatable consumer brand that redefines the connection between nutrition and fitness. So many people are looking for ways to lead healthier lifestyles every day but are totally confused when it comes to what products are right for them or what ingredients you can actually trust. If we can simplify this super confusing category for people and help people live healthier lives in the process, we’ll be psyched with our success.
We’re planning for world domination! I want to see our Revere packets take shelf space from the chemical-filled, synthetic protein tubs that litter supplement aisles. But moreover, my hope for Revere is that we create an incredible culture both internally and for our customers, where everyone feels like they’re part of something inclusive and supportive. My professional goal has always been to help get people happier and healthier. Fitness does that, bottom line. If I can aide in someone’s fitness journey, I’m doing my job.
We’re already working with our board to expand our line. We’re creating new flavors now, and refining our packaging. In terms of new products, we’re looking into a nighttime product, to aid in muscle repair as you sleep. That’s what I’m most excited about, because who doesn’t want to wake up recovered?
Written by Raven Ishak
Photography via Eli Awada