Ely's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Design Roadtrip

ELY KEY

Co-Founder
Up Mountain Switchel

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

INTERESTS:

Entrepreneurship Food

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Experience Success Choices Values Dedication Hard Work Passion Risk Community

FOUNDATION:

Upholding a Cause and Belief

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.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)