We had the good fortune of connecting with William Leslie IV and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi William, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had been leading cycling classes on the Auraria campus while attending Metropolitan State University of Denver. My cycling classes were always packed and in high demand. It gave me a great inner high. As graduation became closer I wrote my business plan to launch a chain of cycling studios but I couldn’t make the economics work. This was around 2010. At that time there was an epidemic of children over dosing on sugary-caffeinated energy drinks. I thought that was insane no parent should lose a child in such a manner. So I focused on creating my own energy drink and dropped the cycling studio idea. My research led my to beets as the primary ingredient. By 2012 I had my first product.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
If what I know now I knew in 2010 with regard to launching a beverage brand I would have never ever done, so ignorance can be bliss. It takes a minimum of $2M to truly launch a beverage brand and to stick with it for 10 years before you gain any significant and scalable traction. Well, I’ve been at this for 10 years and I’m still standing in spite of not having $2M in hand. During the early days my business partner and I did all of our in-store demos ourselves. We spent a tremendous amount educating people on the benefits of organic beets. At that time we were the pioneers. Today every body and their mother is trying to hawk a beet product. I see lots of brands copying the Red Ace style but they fail.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Red Rocks it’s my sanctuary. While you can go for concerts or movies in the summer the best time is when those events aren’t happening. You just go to be there it’s spiritual.
Cattivella for pizza and Italian food plus I just love the chef Elise Wiggins.
Eddie V’s for seafood / alcohol (it’s a steakhouse but I prefer the seafood) and they treat me like family because we’ll actually I am…LOL.
Clayton Club so they wouldn’t have to worry about picking up the check.
Cafe Olé in west Denver neighborhood of Lakewood, a neighborhood Spanish inspired coffee shop that makes their own syrups and serving the best Spanish mocha and Horchata hands down.
Welton Room in Five Points creative cocktails owned by a terrific siblings https://www.weltonroom.com/
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Sarah Fox deserves a shoutout. Sarah was my cycling instructor at Metro. She thought I had so much energy that I should lead a cycling class. I thought Sarah was nuts. But with her encouragement I learned the parameters became a certified cycling instructor and the student became the teacher. Sarah has her own fitness studio in Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver https://www.thestudiocc.com/