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Hey guys,

It’s Phoebe & Ollie.

It’s been a rollercoaster few months, so we thought we’d fill you in on the journey so far and why we believe the world needs yet another smoothie brand!

We’re two health nuts, we love pretending to enjoy running, have tried most classes in the city and we’re super conscious of what we eat. We believe that food can be medicine, and believe that there’s a pretty simple equation to nutrition:

the more plants you eat, the better you feel

Back in 2017, we were working crazy busy corporate jobs, eating pretty well in the evenings, but really struggling when we were out of the house. We looked at the “healthy” easy offering to find it wasn’t what it seemed. Bottled smoothies that are all juice and no fibre, grab and go drinks with more sugar than a doughnut, and most of all (even in the “fresh” aisle) fruit and veg that’s months old and no longer nutritious.

That’s when we discovered freeze drying. Well, learned about it, it’s not new – NASA use it to send food to the astronauts. For them it’s great, because it removes the water from meals – making them lightweight and long lasting – but retains all the nutritional value. We weren’t into freeze dried lasagna – mushy – but were convinced we could crush freeze dried plants into powders and rehydrate those powders into super nutritious smoothies, and so the plantshake was born!

We knew Katie, an associate nutritionist and lecturer at King’s College London, and managed to get her excited enough to work on our blends with us. We put together a range of recipes – a full rainbow – to give the diversity our guts need. We spent months and all our savings preparing to launch. 

Plantshake by FOGA - Founders - Wedding - Phoebe & Ollie Thirlwell Pearce

We got married, and quit our jobs the day we got back from our honeymoon. We booked a pop-up at Old Street for the big week – and then, at midnight the night before launch – the world’s biggest food company threatened to sue us. They thought our name was too close to one of their trademarks.

Plantshake by FOGA - Founders - Wedding - Phoebe & Ollie Thirlwell Pearce

We were all in, so we weren’t about to give up – we “redacted” the name with a sharpie, crossed out our branding everywhere.

We broke every rule, and launched without a name – and we sold out!

For the last few months, we carried on using Redacted – we just couldn’t afford the vowels in the domain, so became RDCTD. But it was never permanent, we wanted a name that held our mission at its core: more plants, feel better. We scribbled down the things our brand stood for:

FRESH – nutrient-dense, naturally ripened, nothing artificial.
ORGANIC – wherever possible – the best farming practice for us and our planet.
GOOD – delicious, natural, food that will do you good.
ACCESSIBLE – convenient, fits into busy schedules, more time for fun stuff.

FOGA it was, and FOGA it will remain – we own the trademark this time!

For us, FOGA is real food, made convenient for the hustlers, the doers, the impatient. It’s using low invasion techniques to make slow, nutritious, natural foods fast. We had a little false start, but we’re off and running now – come join us on the journey!

Later, 

Phoebe & Ollie