MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - For Andrew Healy and Alex French, stumbling upon cold press coffee was an unintended start to a career in business.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Healy joined forces with his best friend French to found Bizzy Coffee - a company that delivers organic, cold brew coffee.
On April 16, the two founders announced the launch of the Bizzy Project - a competition that awards $5,000 to aspiring businesspeople with promising ideas, The Minnesota Daily (https://bit.ly/1TfjR9q ) reported.
The two hope the Bizzy Project will ease the hardships of starting a company. Healy said the initiative is geared toward people like themselves: fledgling entrepreneurs trying to gain traction for their businesses.
Prior to starting Bizzy Coffee, Healy and French both found themselves stuck in a post-college rut.
Healy, who graduated from the University with a mechanical engineering degree in 2011, entered straight into the corporate sector. While he said he liked some aspects of his job, he found it mostly unfulfilling.
“I was working on other people’s ideas and not able to see them all the way through,” he said.
After attending the University of St. Thomas, French - Healy’s childhood friend - also had lukewarm sentiments about his marketing position at General Mills.
“I was trying to sell Cheerios to people who didn’t want them,” he said.
The pangs of their busy schedule kept the pair constantly caffeinated. When Healy started having stomach issues from coffee acidity, he said, the two started looking for alternative energy sources.
Dissatisfied with energy drink offerings, Healy said he and French discovered cold brew coffee and were enraptured with the idea.
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water over a period of 24 hours.
Because of the laborious process, the duo wanted to cater to people who didn’t have the time to make their own cold brew. This inspired the name and slogan of their company: “Bizzy Coffee for busy people.”
Healy and French developed their product at a nonprofit kitchen in Northeast Minneapolis. After being admitted to a business program called Food-X that provides food entrepreneurs with start-up capital, the two slept on air mattresses in a New York City office while refining their product.
In December, Healy and French returned from New York and launched Bizzy’s website on March 1.
French’s mother Maria French said she tested the team’s experimental brews with her husband as well as Alex French’s 85-year-old great aunt.
“I couldn’t be more proud (of them),” Maria French said.
The coffee is available in stores, but customers can also “subscribe” to the coffee in bulk via Bizzy’s website. The company has had so many subscribers that Bizzy is unable to fill new orders until May.
In the meantime, the team is turning their attention to the Bizzy Project.
“It’s like Shark Tank meets American Idol,” Alex French said.
Information from: The Minnesota Daily, https://www.mndaily.com/
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