Get Your Dose of Vitamin C (Caffeine) In A Whole New Way
I had the chance to speak with Johnny Fayad, one half of the founders of Eat Your Coffee (the other being Ali Kothari), an amazing company created by two Northeastern University students, in dire need of coffee for their morning classes, but who, unfortunately, kept waking up too late to get their cup of joe. Well, no need to worry, because they came up with a solution — why not just eat your coffee?
Eat Your Coffee Bar is an innovative, organic energy bar caffeinated with a full cup of real coffee (no synthetics) and packed with superfoods to nourish and energize. Every bar is equivalent to Tall Starbucks cup of coffee and this tasty product would be the start of an incredible edible relationship for all students to live happily ever after! In each and every, beautifully packaged bar of deliciousness, there are whole, organic ingredients and the bar is also vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO.
As of right now, there are three mind-blowing, tongue-tingling flavors including Mocha Latte, Coconut Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato. UGH. STOP.
It’s been a couple years since Eat Your Coffee was founded in Johnny and Ali’s college dorm room, and although the idea for the caffeinated bars was born out of a need to get their morning coffee more efficiently, the company has found a whole new market rallying for the bars. Fitness focused millennials are devouring the bars as a pre and post workout snack. Whether they need a truly energizing boost before their workout or a more nutritious form of caffeine (caffeine has been shown to increase muscle recovery), after their sweat session, Eat Your Coffee Bars are the perfect bite.
Fayad explained to me how they began selling their Eat Your Coffee Bars on campus and at libraries. They entered into a business competition, which they successfully won, going on to the Venture Accelerator, where they learned a lot about how to market their product, and earning various grants from Northeastern University.
“There were definitely a lot of bumps along the way,” Fayad recalled. They had to think about all aspects of their business such as the recipe, the shelf life, the manufacturer, the retailer, the design, and more.
When I asked him if any of his businesses classes seemed to help him in the real world case of their company, he replied, “Professors were really supportive and allowed us to work on our company for our class project” he chuckles. “We’re [Fayad & Kothari] both entrepreneurs, we’re both finance majors, so a lot of what we do overlaps in terms of business, whether that’s different marketing things or things that go along with the initial ideas and beginning phases, and getting it off the ground, and understanding what the core problem is and figuring that out…but overall, I’d say that I think getting out there and doing it is a real great learning experience, in the end.”
I thought about how difficult it must have been to be a full-time student and a business-man, but Fayad seemed to prove me wrong, and acknowledged the fact that Northeastern made it a much more doable process. “There were definitely troubles being a full-time student and doing this, you gotta make time, you gotta eat your coffee, you gotta stay up late and stuff, but other than that, it was really time management that was a big aspect of it. The fact we were able to co-op for ourselves, you know at Northeastern with the whole co-op program thing we have, we were able to just do our own co-op with the company.”
He continued, “Northeastern is very supportive of venture creation and there are a lot of organizations, so there was a lot of support that was leveraged. I’d say as much as things were definitely busy, being a student entrepreneur is probably the best way to do it. You have such a great network around you and it’s a much less risky time of your life, so it’s definitely a good time to test the waters if you want to start a company.”
Of course, I had to ask Fayad what would be his favorite coffee to eat, aka which bar is his favorite flavor and he said, the coconut mocha. Chef’s recommendation, guys.
I proceeded to ask him what advice he would give for aspiring student entrepreneurs, and with enthusiasm he stated, “I would tell them to just do it, the biggest thing is to get the ball rolling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’d say that piece of it is probably the most important, going through the entire process, we always had someone helping us whether it was an advisor, a professor, a peer there was always someone there that was willing to share and lend their expertise.”
They had professors help them reach out to manufacturers and supply chains or they had a lot of friends working SCOUT, which is Northeastern’s Student-Led Design Studio, who were willing to do their design work for free, and of course so much more!
“Don’t feel like you have to know everything off the bat right away.”
So, now you are aware of the best and trendiest way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C for the day when you’re in a hurry, meet the team of Eat Your Coffee at our Boston Breakthrough event next Friday, March 24th, at the George Sherman Union Center at Boston University, BU Central, from 6 PM – 10 PM. Tickets are available HERE! Don’t wait any longer because they’re selling fast! Try out these delicious treats and keep on the lookout for these entrepreneurs who are #OnTheVerge of Eating Our Coffee and #OnTheVerge of Energizing Life!
Purchase your bars now HERE! Signing up for their newsletter on their website will get you a discount code for 50% off your first box! Also, be sure to give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.