Genuine Healthy Coffee Founder on Startup Transparency Creating Shift in Coffee Consumption
Jacob Varghese has always been concerned about health. With a background of over 30 years in the business of coffee roasting, the coffee world has been an important part of his life.
Teams around the world literally survive on coffee in startups and established companies. However, do you know how nutritional your coffee is? Do you have the information about the labs used to manufacture your coffee and what health effects the beverage could be causing you?
Building an open and direct messaging culture for coffee processors and manufacturers is the aim of Jacob’s company. Aside from selling coffee, he tells me as we begin our chat, on his convictions and why we should all start to be aware even as we down one cup to the next writing lines of code, text, and building startups one step at a time.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Jacob delves into the discussion to tell us how Genuine Healthy Coffee came to be. The initial spark came from a chat he had with some friends who are doctors while taking coffee.
“We chatted about way more things from a biological perspective than what’s found online,” he begins. “We wondered is there a way to bring together awesome coffee with nutritional supplements. Also, we thought, why not combine them?”
“It was NOT as easy as that, as we soon found out.”
For the normal coffee drinker in the street, they never think of the nutritional values of the beverage.
“Coffee is one of the most beloved drinks in the world. The taste and complexities of the beans, origin, farm, soil, weather are just the beginning to create unique, signature coffees.”
“When you blend single-origin coffees together, you can tailor the cup to precisely match your preferences by choosing coffees that complement and enhance each other. And now, the craft roasting revolution is bringing artisanal roasters to the forefront.”
Additionally, the nutritional supplements and all the complexities can be difficult to understand. In fact, Jacob agrees with me that it is a complex subject. But he insists that it is crucial for everyone who takes coffee to understand these components from a clinical standpoint.
Many coffee sellers evade the topic, and they cut corners because nutritional coffee is costly, and sometimes involves resourcefulness to get the finest US labs with manufacturing, certifications, and safety methodologies.
This is where his startup comes in. The goal is source their coffee from labs with the highest standards in the country. They make clinically prove coffee with patented ingredients.
“But it’s not as simple as just combining these two – coffee and nutraceuticals. It takes understanding the interactions, the taste and dosages,” he adds.
“At GENUINE, we crafted a proprietary organic coffee blend with clinically proven nutritional ingredients per pod. This was a long, hard process that took five years to get here and super hard to recreate.”
Several vitamin coffees never mention who their labs are, and that is very crafty. One thing the company hopes to stand out and build its brand on is their transparency because several companies don’t do that to avoid questions and the costs it would bring to actually source genuine coffee from labs.
“Quite frankly, it costs more to source from legitimate manufacturers that have clinical data which back up their products. The risks other companies take were far too great for us and violated our mission of creating the most efficacious and nutritional lines of healthy coffee and teas.”
“For us, transparency matters. It’s why you’ll see, on our ingredients panels, the nutraceuticals and lab manufacturers we have license agreements with. It also comes down to actually caring. It takes time and consideration to account for every factor – taste, dosage, efficacy, biological pathways, delivery mechanisms, manufacturing, standards and host of other factors. This takes time and a team.”
With full blown transparency levels, the company hopes it can change the game, and how coffee is sold to the millions of people that love it and take it on a daily basis. The conviction was so strong the company named itself GENUINE.
As the company diversifies its market base, they are considering going into retail. Already, an Amazon shop is operational.
“However, to focus on meeting our customer’s needs, retail in key distributors can increase our brand reach and accessibility.”
Looking at the number of people that buy coffee from stores, the figures are staggering. It is near impossible to compete if your brand is not in the correct stores.
When a good number of people take coffee, they are mostly never thinking about the nutritional benefits. And Jacob believes that it is bad culture that needs a shift.
“We believe that taste and health do not need to be mutually exclusive. Consumers have more access to information than ever before and are realizing that taking responsibility for their health is their responsibility.”
You cannot ignore the health benefits of anything sold around the world at all. Now more than ever before, warnings of unhealthy eating and drinking habits have become a daily occurrence. More and more consumers are getting informed. GENUINE hopes they can continually build on that momentum; to make people care more about the coffee they drink.
“We give credit to educated consumers and believe brands that care, will reflect this in their products. It’s the “No B.S.” ingredients approach to putting action to words.”
It is surprising that millions of people love and take coffee and yet very few of them ever care to find out how it made. By giving information about their sourcing labs, GENUINE is definitely giving away important, but very needful information nonetheless.
“For us we place value on transparency, something that is missing to many brands and manufacturers. It allows for our customers to be able to do their own research while placing a value on the efficacy of the ingredients.”
“Even though we place our ingredients and labs we have license agreements with on our labeling, it’s not so simple combining the ingredients. We have a proprietary process of picking the right beans from the right farms (across 7 countries and three continents) at the right conditions, to the roasting process of each bean variety to then combining it to the nutritional ingredients, dosage levels and pod processing.”
“Then combining them to have the right taste profiles – without tasting unnatural and while being delicious, is a difficult endeavor.”
“Our labs are US based, certified and have CGMP practices in place. Even our medicinal mushrooms are USDA Certified Organic.”
“Our roasting and processing facility in Houston is also differentiated by being one of the only coffee processors that is certified organic by the Texas Agricultural Board.”
THE FUTURE OF COFFEE
Coffee is going to be here for long periods to come. Centuries even.
“Coffee is one of the most beloved drinks in the world and nutritional supplements are a $37 billion (in 2016) in the US. The single-cup coffee market in North America is $5 billion itself. It shows all are here to stay.”
GENUINE wants to be at the centre of shaping healthy coffee drinking habits – something that has been so elusive so far. Because very few companies have picked up the nutritional and healthy consumer awareness direction in selling their beverages.
“We believe that bringing the best of each of these industries together, being authentic and genuine in taste, nutrition and transparency – all make for a meaningfully different product that people will bring to their daily lives.”
As Jacob concludes our chat, he is not just stopping at coffee. There is more.
“Tea is actually beloved just as much, and in some ways more than coffee. We’re currently developing our line of healthy teas and should be released within the next quarter.”
“We’re developing our next lines of healthy coffee including a healthy joints blend. One of the largest demographics in the bone and joint market is the aging population. In the U.S., low bone mass is a threat for more than 40 million people. Due to estrogen loss and lack of exercise, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons said post-menopausal women are the demographic most prone to osteoporosis. However, women aren’t the only ones who need bone and joint support. Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most prevalent joint issue facing those 65 years of age and older. Even those younger are affected.”
“We’re also working with our labs to create the first sexual health coffees and teas, specific to men and women, because both needs of support are different from a biological perspective. This is by far very difficult and consider by many a “holy grail” product.”