When we first covered James Testa, he was in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to back the first production run of his product, WarmUp Protein Coffee. At that time, the East Boston native – now a Suffolk University alumnus – was still refining the formula of his coffee, which contains 15 grams of protein per serving (A typical cup coffee usually contains about 0.28 grams of protein.)
A lot of things happened since then. The Kickstarter campaign delivered $8,600 to Testa’s pockets, which fueled the company’s ambitions as well as the first prize of $2,250 from the Suffolk University Pitch Competition. Starting last January, Testa invested the money in forming a legal entity, trademarking the company’s logo and slogan, stocking up on the inventory, hiring a professional designer to create the package, and building the company’s website.
With all things in place, WarmUp just started selling its coffee on its website with the goal to land on Amazon within the next two or three months, Testa said in an interview.
“Selling online is a way for us to really pick up some traction, get the brand out there,” Testa said. The website and, hopefully, Amazon should replace the need for a physical store. “I want to play it by ear and see how things go… A storefront, for this type of business at least, may not be necessary.”
To let potential customers know about WarmUp Protein Coffee, Testa added he’s also meeting with local gyms, including LA Fitness facilities in Boston. Ideally, gyms could sell the product or WarmUp-based beverages directly in their cafeterias.
WarmUp hopes to target active people who may be looking to add protein to their diet without having to eat meat or take pills. “We want people to be able to pronounce ingredients,” Testa said.
Testa pitched the idea for his venture as part of a crowdfunding class at Suffolk, after recovering from a serious motorcycle injury sparked his interest in fitness and nutrition.
So far, WarmUp coffee is available for delivery in just one size: a one-pound bag that contains 18 servings and costs $26.99 plus a $4.99 shipping fee. Online orders, which are all USPS Priority mail, can be received nationwide in one to three business days, according to Testa.