Dehydration and altitude sickness are common in Colorado, especially among first-time visitors to the state. The usual symptoms of dizziness and fatigue can be alleviated with adeqate hydration, but often people reach for sugary, artificially-colored drinks or water, which may not contain enough nutrients for adequate nutrition.
What’s the alternative? “100% pure coconut water,” says Helena Hollis, owner of CocoRidge. While living in Breckenridge, she found a lot of people were suffering from dehydration and altitude sickness. “I would always recommend coconut water because of the electrolyte rich properties.”
However, back in 2010, it was hard to find coconut water anywhere in town. So Helena started CocoRidge, to make it readily available and to educate tourists, athletes, and locals alike about its electrolyte rich and hydrating properties to combat altitude sickness.
With a background in natural foods and a passion for the outdoors, this business idea was a perfect fit for Helena. Her natural and sugar free elixir leaves drinkers with a light, sweet and smooth taste. “People who don’t typically like coconut water, drink CocoRidge,” explains Helena.
To grow her new product, Helena sought a loan from her bank but didn’t have the track record or profits required to qualify for business financing. She was referred to Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) by the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, where she had worked with a consultant, and learned about the Healthy Foods Fund.
“The CEF loan allowed me to purchase the inventory I needed to continue making the product and stay in business. It saved my company.” Helena also utilized CEF’s in-house Business Acceleration Services to get her trademark filed.
With the addition of a marketing intern to help expand awareness of the product at outdoor events across the state, CocoRidge is poised to become the drink of choice for athletes, fans, and extremists alike. This canned beverage is now available in select King Soopers, City Markets, Whole foods, Natural Grocers and many more across the state.
“To see people buying and drinking my product,” Helena concludes, “is the best feeling in the world.”