Untapped co-founder Roger Brown will be one of the panelists on the “Vermont: A Small State with a Big Brand” session at INSIGHT. The general session, held on Tuesday, May 23rd in the Pinnacle Ballroom at Topnotch Resort in Stowe, will also feature Sam vonTrapp, VP of Trapp Family Lodge, Corinne Prevot, Founder and CEO of Skida, and Rob Megnin, Director Sales, Marketing, Reservations and Snowsports, at Killington Resorts.
Roger Brown counts alpine racing as his athletic background. An all-American and NCAA champion while at Dartmouth (’04), he continued on to the U.S. Ski Team (2005-2007) before starting a maple syrup farm in Richmond, VT (Slopeside Syrup) with three cousins from his Cochran family. Roger also worked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, holds an MBA from the University of Denver, studies at Vermont Law School, and was named the 2014 Sugarmaker of the Year by the Vermont Maple Industry Council. He lives in Richmond with his wife and three kids.
Maple-fueled athletic performance – what could be more emblematic of Vermont? Untapped was founded in the spring of 2014 as a partnership between road-bike racer Ted King (TdF 2014, 2015), PR shop owner Andrew Gardner (Press Forward PR), and the four cousins at Slopeside Syrup. What started as a simple idea – use pure maple syrup to fuel your bike ride instead of a chemically engineered “Gu” product – has become a growing line of maple sweetened energy products. A proof-of-concept pre-order crowdfunder raised $50,000 in the summer of 2014 and the .96 oz sport-portable packet of pure maple syrup debuted at Thanksgiving. Maple-sweetened “stroupwaffle” cookies came next (maple, raspberry, and coffee). Next up are drink mixes and a coffee maple syrup packet. Today, Untapped is distributed nationally through the bike, run, and outdoor channels. Untapped is becoming ubiquitous around Vermont as a snack product as well.
Untapped will continue to set themselves apart in the crowded sports nutrition sector by sweetening with a better sugar – maple – and avoiding “natural” and artificial flavorings by adding real ingredients to “flavor” their products. Cost competition remains a challenge when working with premium ingredients (such as maple syrup), but it can be overcome by thoughtful product development, in-house PR and promotions work, and strong Vermont roots (PR office with Press Forward in Middlebury and headquarters at Slopeside Syrup in Richmond).
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