Ely's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Design Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

ELY KEY

Co-Founder
Up Mountain Switchel

“Show up. Show up, and do the work, and make yourself valuable.”

INTERESTS:

Entrepreneurship Food

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Hard Work Passion Risk Values Dedication Choices Experience Success Community

FOUNDATION:

Upholding a Cause and Belief

TAGS:

agriculture, balance, community, design, entrepreneurship, experience, fail, farmers market, interest, profit, recycling, success, values

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Key originally heard about switchel from his father, who used to drink it when he worked the family farm in Vermont.
  • He made a batch and introduced the beverage to his friend (and now co-founder) Garrett Riffle.
  • The two were business and design-minded, so they decided they could team up and sell the beverage.
  • They made their first batch and took it to the farmer's market, where they made a $200 dollar profit.
  • In the early days of Up Mountain's history, the two spent a lot of time tweaking the recipe, and bottling and packaging by hand.
  • Says if they cared only about making profits, there are ways they could compromise their product.
  • However, they've chosen to put their core values-reusable bottles, for example-ahead of their need for money.
  • Says the best thing a young person can do is to show up ready for the job and bring something new to the table.

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