Uncomfortable with the idea of ingesting traditional protein supplements packed with additives and highly processed foods, Jack Schrupp, Teaching Fellow in French, contrived his own protein powder in college to enhance his performance in ski racing. Last month, after developing his own natural formula for a year and a half, Schrupp unveiled his new company, drink wholesome.
drink wholesome’s two flavors of powder, “pb coconut” and “mocha,” are free from artificial flavoring, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners, as such additives can increase the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and cancer, according to drinkwholesome.com. After discovering that others were interested in his product, Schrupp experimented with various ingredients to fine-tune his recipe.
“I tried an insane number of different things, and they all tasted so bad. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad the first iterations were. I tried things that really shouldn’t be in a protein powder. It took a really, really long time and a lot of soul-searching before I was actually able to formulate something that tasted good and performed like conventional protein powder, meaning that it was soluble and creamy and didn’t settle out after ten seconds,” said Schrupp.
According to Schrupp, the process of becoming an entrepreneur and learning how to build a company has been a new, but rewarding, experience.
“I had a phone call today with this big beverage, news, and consulting company that does marketing and consulting for beverage companies… It was just an interesting conversation, one that I never anticipated having. If you asked me a year ago if I would be having that conversation today I would have said no,” said Schrupp.
As a coach of Andover Nordic, Schrupp has inspired the team with his business endeavors, according to Kate Pfister ’21.
“It’s really inspiring to see one of our coaches living his best life, and we have really built some team camaraderie around [Schrupp’s company], and it’s really inspired some of us to race hard with our whole heart. That’s what Coach Schrupp puts into his company,” said Pfister.
Eli Newell ’20, Co-Captain of Andover Nordic and Proctor in Stuart House, has enjoyed witnessing both Schrupp’s business pursuits and his commitment to developing a natural formula.
“It’s been really inspiring for me to watch Mr. Schrupp over the past year and a half, in [Stuart House] and on the team, build drink wholesome from an idea into a marketable product and brand. It’s been pretty exciting to watch that process,” said Newell.
In the future, Schrupp hopes to expand drink wholesome’s market by selling vegan products and embracing clients beyond what Schrupp sees as the hyper-masculine culture associated with protein powder.
“drink wholesome is coming out with a plant-based protein soon. [With] chickpea protein, the flavor will hopefully be matcha, trendy. So for all you vegans out there, that will be an attractive option, I think. drink wholesome currently uses egg whites, which are a great source of protein but not vegan,” said Schrupp.
He continued, “Protein’s pretty masculine, right? It has that hyper masculine vibe. Girls do drink it, but it’s not as marketed. Until very recently, it was not marketed towards women at all… I think everybody needs protein, and I think [drink wholesome is] a great protein for someone who is looking to eat clean.”