We had the good fortune of connecting with Maurice McKay and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maurice, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I first started getting into weight training about 6 years ago, I was trying every supplement on the shelves. I bought into the idea that we needed to stack multiple supplements, or that a pre and post workout was needed. I started doing research on the ingredients used in pre workouts and soon came to the realization that every pre workout I tried was way under dosing their ingredients, or not listing how much was used because it was a proprietary blend. I started buying creatine in bulk and adding additional creatine to my pre workout, then with more research I started adding more beta alanine; then citrulline malate. It got to the point that I just started buying everything in bulk, used a scale to weight it all out and used a blender to mix 20-30 servings at a time. I did this for a few years and perfected it over time while earning my personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach certifications. The Air Force reassigned me back to the states from Germany and we decided to start our own massage therapy business, after my wife got her Arizona license. Then one day while I was in my kitchen mixing up some more pre workout when I thought “this is dumb, I wish someone would just come out with a quality pre workout…” then, remembering I now have an LLC, I decided to launch my own supplement brand focusing on quality products, transparent about the ingredients, and at levels show to be effective in studies. Five months later I had the first run of pre workout in stock in two flavors. Now a year and a half later we are launching our third flavor and we have two flavors of protein powder.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

Launching this company has brought challenge after challenge. We put money down on a commercial building in Tucson to run the business out of. We closed on the building in the first week of March, 2020. We started renovating it, then COVID hit and everything shut down, including the state to process our business license. We continued to persevere through it and the building was ready to open. The state finally processed and granted our business license on July 27th, I then left for my deployment on July 29th. While deployed I built both websites, social media sites, yelp and google profiles, etc. I also worked on marketing from there, trying to generate traffic to our social media platforms and websites. Trying to sell supplements while the gyms were closed, and massage clients when people are afraid to be around other people was challenging.
I applied for every COVID relief loan they had and didn’t qualify for any of them. By the time we could even open our doors we were five months deep into mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, etc. As time went on we were able to grow a small customer base, both for massage therapy and the supplements, our return customer rate is very high. We are continuing to grow and expand our marketing methods, we are optimistic moving forward that as COVID has less of an impact on our daily lives, the business will grow even more.
In November, 2021, I got an assignment notification that I was going to go to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. With our businesses tying us to Tucson, I opted to decline the assignment and retire from the Air Force in lieu of taking the assignment. With a projected retirement date of 1 June 2022, I am looking forward to the next chapter and being able to focus 100% on the businesses.

One lesson learned through all this is that when you buy (most) supplements, you are paying for their marketing, not their products. I spent a lot of money to come out with (what I believe) is the best pre workout, eliminating the need for stacks or multiple products. With that, it’s an expensive product to manufacture, so I was spending my money on the product and development, and didn’t have much left for marketing. I believe the business would be much more successful if I would have came out with a cheap product and spent the money on marketing; but this goes against my beliefs in why I started the company in the first place. Zeus Supplements pre workout is the last supplement you will need to take, no more stacks; its honest, transparent, and effective.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Keeping busy with being active duty Air Force, and running three businesses (I also own a clothing brand) I don’t have much time to get out. When I do, I go off roading in the mountains behind our house with our neighbors Nick and Sara, the scenery is beautiful and the trails are fun. If I had a friend come visit for a week, I would enjoy going to new places with them.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shortly after launching our first products, I got tasked to deploy for seven months. A big thanks goes out to my wife, Poo, for packaging and shipping out orders while also running the massage therapy business and home schooling our daughter through COVID. Her massage therapy, Sabai Sabai Health & Wellness, is what kept the supplements alive during the early stages.

Website: zeus-supps.com, aprev1776.com, sabai-hw.com

Instagram: zeussupps, aprev1776, sabai_sabai_h_w

Facebook: zeus.supplement, aprev1776, sabaihw

Other: Zeus Supplements and Sabai Sabai Health & Wellness are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

Image Credits
Rico Martinez

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.