Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Schwab and Amber Williams.
Jeremy and Amber, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born in France. Made in Texas. That is our motto at Vite, but I would say it kind of all started before then. Back in 2004, I was 27 years old and had just had my first son Camdyn who was a year old. A coworker of mine who was into cycling convinced me to participate to the MS150 from Houston to Austin. I really didn’t cycle much before that but had always rode bikes as a kid for fun, so I decided to get a road bike and try it out. After my first MS150, I spent the next several years as a casual endurance athlete. Mainly just training for specific charity events, running some local 5k and half marathons, as well as competing in a few local triathlons. Nothing too competitive but just enjoying an active lifestyle. In 2010 the company I work for moved my family to Paris, France for a job assignment. As most people know, France is probably one of the most beautiful countries to cycle. Outside of work, I spent most of my time indulging in the French culture, traveling Europe with my family, or cycling in the French countryside.
In the summer of 2012, I participated to the Etape du Tour. This is an annual event that allows cyclist to ride an actual stage of the Tour de France on closed roads a few days before the “real” Tour comes by. The route this year was quite epic. It featured 120+ miles while traversing several famous mountain climbs thru the French Pyrenees resulting in over 16,000ft of climbing. At about the halfway point of the day, I approached a feed station at the top of one of the climbs. As I stopped to fill up my bottles, I noticed several athletes in front of me only partially filling up their bottles with sports drink and then moving to the water cooler to top it off. But they weren’t the only ones; I was doing the same thing. The sports drinks were just too sweet especially after this many hours on the bike. I realized we were all actually “watering down” what these companies had spent years researching the right formula of electrolytes. At that point, I knew there was not a single product on the market that provided the right balance of electrolytes because everyone was watering them down.
The next week, I returned to Paris and started thinking of how I could create a sports drink that I would not have to water down. My mission was to create a drink with only simple ingredients using the perfect ratio of sugar and salts. No ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce or that didn’t belong in a hydration drink. And most importantly, a drink that I would want to drink after several hours on the bike and not water down.
I moved back to Houston in mid-2013 mainly due to the upcoming birth of my second son. Once transitioned back home, I joined a local racing team called Shama Cycles in 2014 and started racing road bike competitively around Texas. This is where I found my true passion for cycling, nutrition, and performance. I also started working more intently on my previous sports drink idea which I would later call Vite Hydration. I started sharing the drink with friends and other athletes. The feedback was amazing, and I knew that I could not keep this secret to myself any longer. So I started providing it for free to several pro and elite athletes as well to get their feedback. Everyone was loving it. Unfortunately, kids, life, and my day job all took a priority. So I spent the next few years mainly using these products personally and sharing with some close friends. But I always had this nagging itch that just needed to be scratched.
One day during the summer of 2017, I was on a group ride in south Houston. One of my friends Simon (who is actually from France) and I were riding back to our house and he noticed the bottles on my bike that said Vite Hydration. At that time, I had never shared Vite with him, so he was curious about it. As I proceeded to tell him the story about Vite he was shocked that I hadn’t actually taken this to the next level. Something clicked for me and realized it was time to finally scratch that itch.
When I got back home, Amber and I starting discussing how we would manage starting a new business and keeping a good life balance. So in November 2017, we officially launched Vite Nutrition and were excited to share our products. In less than a year, we are shocked at how well the company has done. We love hearing all the stories of how our products have helped improve athlete’s performance and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Our customers matter to us and we treat them like family. We strive to provide the ultimate customer service and add a personal touch to every bag we sell.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think any new business can be started without some struggles. For Amber and I, our biggest struggle was probably just TIME. With full-time jobs, kids, and just trying to have a good life balance, your time is a precious commodity. So before we launched in November of 2017, Amber and I sat down and realized one of us was going to have to quit our job to make our family and business work.
Amber quit her job of two years with a prestigious law firm and took a part-time job closer to home. With her new job, she had flexible hours which would allow her to devote most of her time on Vite. Looking back almost one year later, there is no way we could be where we are now had we not taken that risk.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Vite Nutrition – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Vite is pronounced [veet] like the word “meet” but with the letter “V.” It is a French word meaning “quick.” Our original product Vite Hydration was born from the idea of using simple ingredients to quickly hydrate you. Most sports drinks on the market have too many calories which we believe actually dehydrates you. Our philosophy is that you should use your drinks for hydration and eat real food for fuel. This provides the most optimal performance in athletes.
We make three drinks available in powder form that can be used Before, During, and After exercise. Our core market is cycling and other endurance sports. We are known for offering products using high-quality ingredients which you can pronounce. All of our drinks have a subtle and “less sweet” flavor to avoid the need to “water down” as typically found in other sports drinks on the market.
Many of our customers ask why our products come in powder form. The simple reason is that it is the ideal way to not have to add anything artificial.
What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
What is luck? I’m probably the wrong person to ask this question to as I’m the type of guy that doesn’t really believe in luck. There is a quote from Eric Thomas (the Hip Hop Preacher) that comes to mind…“Luck Is For Leprechauns & You Ain’t Green!”. It sounds funny, but for me, it is really something I believe deep down.
I believe people actually create their own luck be it good or bad. For me, good luck comes from hard work, discipline, and consistency. As a father to two boys (14 years & 5 years old), competitive cyclists, race team director, business owner, and working a full-time job in the IT field; planning is key. Not to mention I also am a Cycling Coach for a dozen or so athletes. So having a good routine is key for success.
But when it comes to the business side of Vite Nutrition, we have had some good fortune along the way. I attribute that mainly to being a part of a very supportive Houston cycling community. The success of Vite to this point has been in a large part due to this. So we try to sponsor as many local events and athletes as we can to give back. One example is Team Catapult. This is a group of amazing people who help physically challenged athletes meet their personal goals.
- Vite Charge | a “super hydration” formula to be used BEFORE long or intense workouts in hot conditions to help eliminate cramping. This product comes unflavored and is only available in a single serve form to be mixed with water. | Single Serve $1.99
- Vite Hydration | a hydration mix used DURING a workout to help replenish electrolytes lost from sweating. This is our “core” product and comes in a subtle Lemon Lime flavor. | 1lb Bag – $18.99 | Single Serve – $1.49
- Vite Restore | a 100% pure whey protein isolate recovery mix for AFTER workouts. This product has only five ingredients and made with only the highest quality protein from grass fed cows. It comes in a lightly flavored Vanilla Cinnamon which is a delicious treat when mixed with Almond milk after a workout. | 1lb Bag – $29.99 | Single Serve – $2.49
- Address: 19 Laurelwood Dr, Houston, TX 77058
- Website: www.vitenutrition.com
- Phone: 832-521-VITE (8483)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @vitenutrition
- Facebook: @vitenutrition