Brandon Mizrahie Of Renude: “Tenacity”

Tenacity: I never use the word “lose” because you are not losing if it ends up being a learning experience. Every time something doesn’t go perfectly, it is an opportunity for growth. You can’t look at things as losses, it is what can I do differently and better next time for it to be a win. […]

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Tenacity: I never use the word “lose” because you are not losing if it ends up being a learning experience. Every time something doesn’t go perfectly, it is an opportunity for growth. You can’t look at things as losses, it is what can I do differently and better next time for it to be a win.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Brandon Mizrahie.

Brandon grew up in Los Angeles and graduated Magna cum laude from UCLA. He built a successful IT company before diving into the health and wellness space. Outside of work Brandon enjoys outdoor sports like cycling, surfing, and tennis and experimenting on himself with 5-day fasts, 4-minute breath holds, and for some reason he’s been known to really love perfume commercials.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?

As a kid growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s it was Ronald McDonald luring kids into unhealthy and highly processed foods with happy meals and playgrounds. Fun cartoon characters were all over cereal boxes getting children like me hooked on bad ingredients. If that wasn’t enough, the school vending machines had chips with ingredients that sound like they were made by a lab (and they were). The food pyramid was promoting bread, cereal, and pasta not to mention heavy dairy. It was all wrong. Growing up this way made me see what the industry was missing. We needed delicious things to eat and drink that were healthy and not loaded with chemicals. This is what inspired me to go into the food and beverage space so I could give people enjoyable options with clean, good for you ingredients.

Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?

Growing up, I was ultra-sensitive to the food system and was constantly getting sick, dealing with stomach pain, IBS, bloating low energy, brain fog, hormone imbalances, and asthma. I tried all the remedies including pharma, herbs, and every diet you can think of without any substantial results — at least, until I learned about Chaga. I started making Chaga the old fashion way, a forty-eight-hour steep, then mixing it with coffee. But friends kept drinking all my supply! I spent a year lab-testing, formulating, and creating the healthiest and most delish drink on the planet, which resulted in the Chagaccino!

Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?

I cycle in healthy routines and give myself permission to indulge in moderation because it’s all about a fun lifestyle and balance. I’ll cycle intermittent fasting (16/8), flexitarian (vegan 5 days/week), and do two 5-day Prolon fasts each year for cellular regeneration. I also sub breakfast for a green juice and a Chagaccino. For workouts I enjoy outdoor activities like tennis, cycling, surfing, and running — anything that gets the endorphins flowing and that nature high.

To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?

I was just making Chaga the old-fashioned way to heal myself. It’s like making a wild foraged tea, but it’s a 24–48 steep to get a super-rich medicinal tea. Keep in mind the Chaga has been growing on the birch tree in a freezing climate for 5–15 years and at that point it is one of the most, if not the most, nutrient dense superfoods on the planet. I was then experimenting with icing the Chaga tea and adding lemon, making fun concoctions like Chaga Palmers and Chaga mixed with homebrewed Kombucha. My friends and family came over and kept drinking all my iced Chaga elixirs, so I knew I had to get it out there. I tested a bunch of Chaga flavored drinks at local farmers markets and week after week the Chagaccino was by far the most popular. That’s how it all started.

Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

After the farmers market, Alfred Coffee shop on Melrose place in Los Angeles was willing to take a chance and serve the Chagaccino. It’s the trendiest coffee shop in LA where you’re guaranteed to run into Gwyneth Paltrow, Harry Styles, Larry David, or a Kardashian. But they wanted the Chagaccino on draft in a keg. So, I got in the keg business. Next thing I know I needed to find a refrigerated truck to transport the keg, a copacker to make the Chagaccino in a keg for just one café (which was nearly impossible), and a cold brew coffee company to make a concentrate for the keg. We also made our own blend of almond/cashew milk for that delicious latte flavor. We are likely the first company to put a vegan cold brew latte in a keg and if that wasn’t enough, we were adding mushrooms to it. The Chagaccino was immediately a smash hit, but we had a problem — after a few days the almond and cashew milk would start fermenting in the keg. I hired a food scientist consultant, learned about kill steps, and we extended the shelf life to 3 weeks in the keg. That was one of the hundred challenges we faced.

Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?

Chaga is arguably the most nutrient dense superfood on the planet. During covid, to consume something like Chaga that has more antioxidants than 3lb’s of blueberries for your immune system is priceless. Chaga also has more Potassium than bananas, more Germanium than Turmeric and more Rubidium than Green Tea. It has the highest levels of melanin for your skin and hair health and a laundry list of health benefits. We just say, “live long, die pretty!”

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

The Frappuccino is the number one selling drink on the planet in the coffee space. It’s unhealthy and loaded with chemicals and sugar. Our response to that was the Chagaccino — a healthy alternative that’s equally delicious. So now when people visit their local café, they have a choice. The number one selling drink in the soda space is a Cola. We’re currently working on cleaning that drink up and you can bet we’ll be spiking it with adaptogens.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  • Listen: I let the customer decide which flavor they wanted their Chaga elixir. Week after week we gave them several choices at the farmers market and the Chagaccino was the most popular by far.
  • Fluid: Alfred Coffee shop wanted us to start serving the Chagaccino on draft in kegs. But I realized we couldn’t scale that business. Are we going to ship refrigerated kegs to coffee shops that now serve the Chagaccino like Meg-a-Latte in North Dakota? I made the tough decision to switch to a barista friendly powdered blend that could be added to a latte to supercharge it into a delicious and healthy Chagaccino.
  • Tenacity: I never use the word “lose” because you are not losing if it ends up being a learning experience. Every time something doesn’t go perfectly, it is an opportunity for growth. You can’t look at things as losses, it is what can I do differently and better next time for it to be a win.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?

Wellness to me means have both physical and mental health. School puts a priority on physical health, we had PE and sports, but we never had a class for mental health. I’m happy to see mental health getting the attention it needs because the two are inextricably linked. Growing up, culture had a lot of judgement and shame around mental health issues, so people were in the closet about it. I would quickly run to the “Self Help” section in the bookstore and make sure no one was watching me. I’m happy to see it’s been rebranded to “Self-Actualization.” There are only 12 or so Adaptogens in the world like Chaga that help your body adapt to stress — both physically and mentally.

As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is at the top of the pyramid. Another word for that in my opinion is Wellness. Wellness to me means mental and physical balance or yin yang. It means health. It means stretching like in yoga or stretching in life out of your comfort zone. I am sensitive to people stretching too far because I tend to push the envelope. Only do the splits and headstands when you’ve worked your way up to it otherwise it will be very painful. There is such a thing as stretching too far, the rubber band can snap.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?

We introduced a mental health day the last Friday of each month called afternoon adventures where we give all employees the day off if they play in nature. That can mean a hike, a swim at the beach, or a walk in the park. It’s gotten really competitive with unreal nature pics on our #afternoonadventure slack channel.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Timing — If I would have launched a keto and vegan friendly mushroom latte 10 years ago before oat milk existed, before kombucha was popular, before matcha was popular, it would have been a lot more challenging to make it successful and to get cafés and baristas to serve it, let alone people to purchase it for their at home coffee habit. Companies like Nespresso and Keurig also made making espresso and coffee accessible to the masses so they could add the Chagaccino powder at home and upgrade their lattes.
  2. Team — My first sales hire had no sales experience. I wanted us to stand out and it was more important to me that they had the right attitude because you can train people on what to say, but it’s more challenging to teach them work ethic and outlook. I chose this “less qualified” sales candidate out of the others because they were personable and had just completed a full marathon with a bad knee. That said more about their personality than having previous experience in sales. This is someone who could finish a difficult task no matter what the obstacles were. This was someone who put in the work and didn’t cut corners because you can’t in a marathon. Those qualities translated into the sales job. She quickly became a super star salesperson and got the Chagaccino into over 200 hundred coffee shops locally and was able to grow as we did into a new position and is thriving as our head of operations after just 2 years.
  3. Execution — Be relentless. I’ve turned the hardest “no’s” into ‘yes.’ I get creative when coffee shops say they won’t carry the Chagaccino who I know it would be a good fit for. I networked and found someone who knew the café owner and turned that no to a yes. I remix the invitation and find creative ways to get what I want. We do whatever it takes, but we have fun and are playful opposed to aggressive. Nike says ‘just do it’ which is probably the best slogan of all time.
  4. What Makes You Better — The health and wellness industry is gaining popularity and therefore crowded with companies. Even in something as specific as a mushroom coffee there are several other brands. What makes us different and better is the taste — the Chagaccino is delicious and the fact that it’s packed with nutrients is a bonus. We also met people at the coffee shops and created a distribution model that was unique by offering people a delicious way to upgrade their coffee at the café.
  5. Have Fun — There’s plenty of things in work that aren’t fun so it’s important to block out time to do what you love. Sometimes I’ll throw my laptop in my car and setup my office for the day with a chair and umbrella on the beach. It’s important to schedule and plan for those things or they won’t happen in my experience. The same thing with scheduling trips. It’s always important to have one on the calendar so when you’re grinding away you have something to look forward to.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Renude is on a mission to clean up the most popular beverages and strip them down to their nude and natural state as affordable and delicious elixirs for the masses. We started with the Chagaccino, which is a cleaned up and healthy version of the Frappuccino, the leading coffee drink in the US. Our mission is to continue to do the same with other leaders in different beverage categories like soda, sports, energy, and eventually get into other verticals like food. We have some secret projects in the works that are world changing like the impossible burger.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I’ve self-funded our company and we’re extremely profitable experiencing hyper growth at 15% per month for the past 2 years. We’ve paved the way and created a unique wholesale distribution channel through coffee shops and self-distribute to them and maintain the relationship. We also sell direct to consumer. We’ve currently penetrated only 6% of the total addressable market on the coffee shop side and we’ve barely scratched the surface on the DTC sales channel. We expect our explosive growth to continue and see those amazing numbers increase even more.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Visit our website at and our handle on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok is @drinkrenude. We have fun with our content!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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