Today on The Clean Body Podcast, host Lauren Kelly talks to the founders of Droplet, Celeste Perez and Adrienne Borlongan, about food science, adaptogens, overcoming chronic conditions like pre-diabetes and postpartum hair loss, and establishing a women-owned, minority-owned CPG brand.
What you'll learn:
About Celeste Perez:
Celeste is a brand creator and the founder of Well Fed, a design studio for celebrity restaurateurs and hospitality groups. You might also have seen her on Tastemade, as a food and travel host. Celeste is a graduate of USC, where she received her degree in broadcast journalism and entrepreneurship. She is Filipino-American.
About Adrienne Borlongan:
Adrienne Borlongan is the founder of Wanderlust Creamery, an artisanal ice cream shop inspired by travel. With 5 locations in the LA area, Adrienne has created international food trends with her signature flavors. Adrienne has a food science degree from CSUN. She is Filipino-American and has three children, all under the age of 2.
Droplet is a health + wellness company creating flavorful yet functional beverages. Made with adaptogens – non-toxic, all natural herbs and botanicals that help the body regulate its response to stress – Droplet is making it easier for people, primarily women, to incorporate adaptogens into their own daily lives. As the children of immigrants and doctors, Droplet is our exploration of the founders' traditions, reimagined for modern tastes and consumption.
For more on Celeste, Adrienne, and Droplet, visit https://drinkdroplet.com
For more on Lauren Kelly and The Clean Body Project, visit www.thecleanbodyproject.com.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:00:00):
Shortly after opening a wanderlust Creamery, an ice cream shop. I had relatives from my dad's side, that story, my father passed away when I was really young. And so I don't, I'm very close to my father's side of the family. And I don't really know them very well, but after they found out I opened an ice cream business, a lot of them reached out to me to congratulate me and tell me, Oh, you're following in your grandfather's footsteps. I was like, what do you mean? And that's when they told me, yeah, you didn't know that your grandfather was a food chemist for Asia's biggest ice cream brand from the 1920s all the way through 1970s, he created a lot of like the staple flavors that exist in Asia today. I could never explain why I was always obsessed with like flavors and, and I guess it's, it's in my background, it's in my blood.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:00:56):
Welcome to the clean body podcast. I'm Lauren Kelly, a certified nutrition therapist, and soon to be specialized holistic cancer coach with a certification in cancer biology from UC Berkeley. I am so grateful that you're here. This podcast introduces you to the souls and brains behind some of the cleanest food beverage and lifestyle products on the market, because what you put on in and around your body matters from cookies, bread, and mushroom superfoods to adaptogenic lozenges, clean medicines, organic mattresses, and fluoride-free toothpaste. We'll explore how the brands came to be how scientific studies drove decisions about ingredients and materials. And most importantly, how the products support all the physical and mental microscopic miracles that occur in your body every minute of every day. Thank you for being here. Let's get this started.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:01:54):
Welcome back to the clean body podcast. I'm your host, Lauren Kelly. Thank you again for being here for episode number eight. And I have to tell you, there could not have been a more timely week to release this episode. It is funny how synchronicity works, but if you hadn't heard of droplet before, you may have heard about them in the last couple of days, there's been a lot happening, especially on Instagram, the women and minority owned brand pioneered by Celeste Perez and Adrian Burlington has been publicly at war with Pepsi co on social media and has been getting tons of community support by consumers and celebrities, including Mandy Moore, Minka Kelly and Shay Mitchell. So let me just rewind a little bit and tell you a story, including a big food industry, controlling conglomerate, coming in, allegedly squash, a small scrappy, just starting to take some ground start-up that is both women and minority owned the main players of this non-fictional all too common story include Celeste, Adrian, their sparkling adaptogenic shrink brand formerly called Dewdrop and now known as droplet and Pepsi-Co Selessa and Adrian launched a little CPG brand.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:03:13):
If you don't know the acronym, it stands for consumer packaged goods just before the pandemic, as children of immigrants and doctors, and as women who had experienced the benefits of adaptogens firsthand, they wanted to deliver the traditional herbal benefits of adaptogens in the form of a functional sparkling wellness drink. But they hit a snag when attempting to trademark their initial brand name. Dewdrop according to email records shared by Celeste on Instagram, even though the United States patent and trademark office saw no issues with the name Dewdrop Pepsi co legally went after them to change their name, citing concerns that consumers would confuse. The name do drop with mountain Dew, mind you completely different drinks, different packaging, different ingredients. I digress not able to fork out the insane amount of money that it would have took them to fight Pepsi co on this matter. And after failed attempts to negotiate and compromise with them, Celeste and Adrian were forced to take the hit and change their name.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:04:19):
It's worth mentioning that they had already sunk a ton of money into that branding and packaging, but anyways, they moved on do drop became droplet and their mission to help improve the mood, focus and clarity of human beings with non-toxic all natural herbs and botanicals went on. Then about a year later in February, 2021, according to purchase an email records shared on the droplet Instagram page, they received an order for their sample kit from a Pepsi co employee. It seemed a little bit like a red flag. So they emailed the Pepsi co employee to confirm that the order was made with pure intentions to support small businesses and not for ulterior motives, say research, ultimately droplet ended up fulfilling and sending the order just last week, co announced their latest strength, soul boost, a functional sparkling water brand that according to droplet founder, Celeste shares a number of similarities and packaging and messaging, including organic shapes, millennial colors, and the former Dewdrop type face or font Celeste also pointed out that their website bears a aesthetic and navigational similarities words used at marketing overlap with those that Celeste has used in interviews or seen on the droplet site and Asian inspired flavors for soul boost are also congruent with those found in droplet in just a couple of days, infuriated Instagrammers have stood behind droplet and called Pepsi-Co out for releasing what looks to be a very similar product, filling the drinks newest Instagram page with thousands of comments, like absolutely disgraceful.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:06:03):
What you have done. You should be ashamed. Wow. Stealing from a minority owned business. How do you sleep at night latent theft and corporate greed by Pepsi-Co support drink droplet. Instead it goes on and on. If you want to see the comments, go check them out. There are literally thousands. Now there's a couple things to unpack here. First I should mention this account is coming from the droplet side. At the time of recording this Pepsi-Co has not released a statement. That's done. Second. We need to talk about the general landscape of the CPG industry, which is monopolized by 11 conglomerates and third, the nutritional differences that exist between soul boost and droplet. Okay. So the CBG industry, nearly every household name brand in the United States that you know is owned by one of 11 companies. Those are Nestle Procter, gamble, Johnson and Johnson, Unilever Mars, Kellogg, general mills Coca-Cola Mondelez international craft.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:07:09):
And of course Pepsi-Co and brands you wouldn't even realize are owned by those big conglomerates. For example, Nestle owns L'Oreal, Coca-Cola owns honest tea, Zico, coconut water and Smartwater Procter, and Gamble's wholly owned subsidiary. The Clorox company owns Burt's bees Johnson and Johnson owns Mrs. Meyer's clean day. Kellogg owns our X bars and Pepsi-Co owns Cavita kombucha, Quaker oats, Frito lay yum brands, including KFC taco bell pizza hut. They also own Gatorade Tropicana. The list goes on and on according to their website, they own over 20 brands. I think that number is much bigger now and their estimated retail sales generate more than $1 billion every year now, to be fair, most of these brands were startups at one point and sold to these big conglomerations. Pepsi-Co though also has been pushing pretty hard into the functional water category, releasing for other brands in just the past year.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:08:09):
Explain this because it's important to know that the money you spend buying pre packaged foods off of grocery store shelves is going straight into the same dozen pockets again and again and again. Okay. Let's break down the ingredient list. Now there are some big differences between what Pepsi co is offering and what droplet founders created. For example, droplet uses real fruit purees also boost uses juice, concentrate juice concentrate is more processed than purees. So Lesco is more into this during the interview, but essentially in order to make juice, concentrates fruit is heated into a syrup heating, especially at very high temperatures kills many, if not, all of the nutrients and beneficial enzymes that are found in naturally occurring foods. So all you're left with at the end is sugar. On top of that sole booze contains preservatives and natural flavors, which can often contain up to a hundred different ingredients that the FDA doesn't require be listed on the label while droplet uses organic coconut next are vanilla bean paste, organic cocoa and other natural food sources for flavoring.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:09:20):
Okay. This has become a very long introduction, but I thought it was really important for all of you. The listeners to know what's happening right now with the droplet brand. During the interview, we don't discuss Pepsi co the interview was recorded over a month ago before the really hit the fan. Instead, we focus on what inspired the functional wellness drink brand, how heritage and cultural traditions drive, what Celeste and Adrian are trying to do now, how adaptogens and unprocessed ingredients benefit your bodies and how Celeste and Adrian have both used foods to overcome their own chronic conditions from pre-diabetes to hair loss. It's a really great conversation. I feel honored that they came on the podcast and I'm behind them support, drink droplet. Now, if you liked this episode, don't forget to subscribe review rate, and you guys can check out and support droplet by going to drink droplet.com or visiting their Instagram page at drink droplet.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:10:20):
You can also follow the founder Celeste Perez. She's doing a lot of publicity around this Pepsi co debacle. She is at Celeste Perez, C E L E S T E P E R E Z. And lastly, you can follow me on Instagram at holistic Lauren Kelly or the podcast at the clean body project. If you have any questions at all about what I've talked about in this episode, the CPG landscape with juice concentrates versus purees, you can shoot me a DM and we can have a conversation about it. Okay. That's enough from me and this introduction. Let's jump into the interview. The last Adrian, welcome to the pod. Yes, bye. Thank you both so much for doing this today. I know that I have shared this with you Celeste, but droplet was a huge inspiration and starting this podcast. It was actually when I tried droplet products and drinks for the first time organically, nobody sent them to me. I was just interested in the product and I was stoked. Like first the packaging was so cute. I loved the pamphlet inside and then the drinks were so good and seeing how my following reacted to me sharing just these drinks that I really liked is where I got the idea for the clean body podcast. So this is very exciting because you were my inspiration. So I thank you both for that. No, really thank you. It was so exciting for us find, I mean,
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:11:54):
One for somebody to find us organically and two, for it to resonate with who, you know, you speak to, that was super important for us to just experience. And so I really glad that we connected and are able to connect and chat. Yeah, I'm so grateful that you both could be on here with me. But before we get to talking about the droplet products and just the evolution of the brand and all, all the thought and science that went into formulating the products, I'd love to hear how each of you came to this health and wellness world. So so last, do you want to start? And then Adrian, I'd love to hear your story as well. So, well, I used to be a huge stress case. I have a branding business. I've actually pretty much done any job that's been thrown my way for the last 10 years because I'm a child of the recession and we had to do what we had to do.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:12:44):
And that led me to a lot of things that I, you know, that were just kind of stressful. And I would pack my plate up with things just so I could make a living. And and I wasn't taking good care of myself and it wasn't until I, you know, ended up in the hospital a couple of times, actually, with all of these issues that I didn't even know like that no one could really explain. It wasn't until that, that I had the wake up call where it was like, you know what, actually, this is all stress-related. The way I eat is stress-related, you know, having junk food all the time and the way that I can't sleep, it's all, stress-related in all ways, it's taking its toll on my health. And that's when I discovered adaptogens and really learned about that.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:13:30):
And as well as yoga and meditation and just all of this was kind of in a, in an effort to save myself because I just wasn't doing, I wasn't doing well. You know, I was doing a lot, but I wasn't doing well. I wasn't healthy. I wasn't happy. And that's how I got into the health and wellness space. Thank you for sharing that. I think so many people can probably resonate with that or so many listeners right now are experiencing that and how their life is just being driven by stress. And if you want to get scientific cortisol, just taking over every totally, you know, right. Oh God. Yeah. I don't miss my food at all.
Speaker 4 (00:14:07):
Hey, nothing, nothing wrong with the food,
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:14:10):
Right? No, but mine was absolutely a stress group. As soon as I started fixing all of it that literally the fever went away like days. I was like, wow, that is, that is an AB crunch. Imagine that was probably inflammation that like was being creative solutions, levels like stress impacts your digestion. You know, like when you're stressed, you're in that fight or flight mode, not the rest and digest mode. So finally I had a lot of inflammation going on in that gut area. Totally. Well, I don't miss Adrian. I'd love to hear your story. Well, I never really planned on getting into the health and wellness space actually roped me in cause we
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:14:52):
Have a history of working together. She helped me conceptualize another business. I have called wanderlust Creamery. But aside from that, it, I think it, it coincided with a time in my life where I realized how much more healthy I needed to be. All my life. I've just been one of those people where I could eat whatever I wanted with no consequences, no visual consequences on my body. And you know, after having three kids in the span of two years,
Speaker 4 (00:15:25):
Brave woman, I know I'm always just like, how does she do it?
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:15:32):
That definitely took a toll on my body and it changed. And I kind of feel like it brought me back down to earth. Like, listen, you can't just keep doing whatever you want, eating whatever you want. I, I didn't bounce back. I always thought like, Oh, whatever, I'll be one of those people that just bounces back. And I, I, it wasn't that quick. And it probably has to do with my age too. I'm 35 now. And so my body's not what it used to be. And I, you know, I had, I was kind of forced to make that conscious decision to, you know, not eat ice cream every day, not, not drink as much you know, make healthier choices when it comes to meals. And I actually started taking Oshawa Lagonda, which is like a, probably one of the most popular adaptogens right before Celeste introduced me to the concept of droplet. And I think it, yeah, it, I feel like everything happens for a reason. It's just these two things, you know, happened at the same time and
Speaker 4 (00:16:40):
Yeah, the universe collided and brought them all together. I always love that when we find these like moments of just, it was always meant to be, and it was, you know, some people might not believe in fate or there's a reason behind everything, but I do. And so I think those things transpired in your life. Maybe your mind was becoming more open to the health and wellness realm and these thoughts and ideas were rumbling around your brain. And so even if, if it had been at a different stage in your life, you wouldn't have been as excited or open to the opportunity, it would have been perceived differently. So it just, the domino effect transpired exactly how you guys needed it to. But I do want to point out that all three of our bodies, either with lupus or not bouncing back quickly after pregnancy are miracles and it's just such a cool, incredible, beautiful thing. So the fact that you've both gone on your own journeys to learn how to support it in a better way is kind of the takeaway. Like our bodies are always changing and we're always going to fall off the bandwagon and eat too much ice cream or drink too much alcohol, but it's about bouncing. Right.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:17:51):
Great for Adrian, the ice cream situation in like pounds and pounds and pounds of it. And like how many flavors do you have on the menu? Like 30. Yeah, but that makes us creative. Yeah. That's because Adrian, you own a ice cream, you started an ice cream shop, right.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:18:12):
Quite the opposite from health and wellness space. But I think there, I bring a different, I dunno, perspective, I guess
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:18:22):
I was going to say ice cream is part of my wellness plan. Like it's so embarrassing when she comes to my house and she looks at my freezer and it's just literally, there's a shelf of just her ice cream. But yeah, for me, it's totally part of how I recuperate. I have not tried your ice cream yet, but I looked at the flavors and they look delicious and agreed. Life is all about balance. I was saying on an interview earlier, any kind of diet that's making you completely remove or restrict things from your lifestyle, probably isn't a diet you should be on because it's about balance. Like I love pizza and burritos and sushi, and sometimes I'm going to eat those, not sometimes weekly, but I do want to get into the story of droplet. So I'd love to hear the origin story.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:19:09):
How did the inspiration of droplet come to you? Yeah, so well I had just, you know, really started to see results and changes really great changes in my life from you know, having started looking into herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine. I Aveda even just like Filipino, cultural traditional medicine. Like that was actually the stuff we grew up with that suddenly with these new eyes of having you know, looking at adaptogens as a scientific you know, or from a scientific perspective, suddenly with these new eyes, I'm like, Oh my God, we're putting Maringa in our canola, which is like a chicken soup. Basically. We're putting that in our bone broth and that's bone broth. Like literally it was kind of just all making connections. And I was like, this is just how we have always eaten. And it seemed like we've forgotten that, you know it seemed like we want to have these things as supplements or think of food in that way where we don't think of food as completely nourishing that we all need these extra parts.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:20:15):
And so I was, you know, making these mushroom drinks every morning and they don't taste very good, especially like not, you know, a few years ago when this wasn't as popular, you'd be finding ground up, whatever it was. And it would be, you know, in hot water, maybe with your coffee. And at the time I had stopped drinking coffee, I was having like five cups a day. And that also really hurt my, my body. It was hyper acidic. I couldn't, you know, like the caffeine actually accumulates in your body. So if you've been having that many cups of coffee for year, it takes a long time for that to come out of your system. And so, you know, a lot of the adaptogens and mushroom coffee alternatives were not gonna work for me. And I did that though for months before I was like, this can't be how this is going to be like, this can't be how this has to taste.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:21:07):
And I was looking around and there really wasn't anyone who had done you know, adaptogens in the way that I needed it, which was, you know, I care a lot about beautiful things. I care a lot about flavor, you know, Adrian and I have our background in food and beverage. So like, yeah, I'm not going to make a habit out of something that doesn't taste good. And I realized too, that I'm a lot, like a lot of women where there are so many women out there who aren't, you know, completely in this natural, holistic alternative space. A lot of products really always spoke to that girl who I, in my head, I'm like, she's in a cereal. She, you know already does yoga. She has an intimidated by these things. And I was on the other side of that, looking at that girl being like, I'm intimidated by all of this stuff.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:21:52):
How do I like, you know, why isn't there something that speaks to me and my values. And so for us, that really was something that was beautiful, elegant, wholesome, but not in a way that only that, that, you know, that, that only spoke to the insider because I felt like people needed to know that these things work. People needed to know that there was science behind this, and we wanted to approach it from that way where it's a lifestyle product versus a you know, a medical clinical supplement or you know, on the other hand performance supplement, which is the other side of adaptogens where it's always in men's drinks or you know, always in the energy drinks. That was not something that really, for me, especially now like that wasn't something I needed, I needed balance. I needed calm. I didn't need to be hyped up all the time, which is, you know, even today that's how a lot of the drinks are coming out. And so so after, you know, my thousand cup of
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:22:57):
Dirt juice, you know, I actually, yeah,
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:23:01):
I, I hadn't talked to Adrian in a while cause she'd had her kids and, you know, like she had her business, it was so was like for her, I would look at her life and be like, Oh my gosh, so much going on. But I was like, there's something interesting here. And I feel like if we could come together with her food science background, we'd be able to make something important, you know and important for especially women. Because I just think that if we could save the world, if women were in a stressed out and and I was just like, okay. And if I, you know, if we figured this out, we could make a huge difference. And that's when I called Adrian. And she literally, how your babies were like three months old.
Lauren Kelly, The Clean Body Podcast (00:23:41):
Yeah. Just given, she was like, I'm a little busy
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:23:46):
Right now, but can we chat in like a month? And I was like, yeah, I will wait. Like no big deal. And you know, that's where it went from there. We really, our, our first goal was to have something that tastes good you know, tastes good and also had the benefits that you could really, you know, it would really make a difference for someone. And so, you know, Adrian was a big piece of that puzzle. Yeah. I would definitely want to dig into that. I love that you said that a big part of droplet maybe unintentionally or intentionally was this inclusiveness. Like you don't need to already feel like you're this holistic person or live this holistic lifestyle to enjoy these products and understand the benefits that they have on your body. It's for everybody maybe more targeted towards women, but it is really something that everybody can benefit from.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:24:43):
Yeah. So that was a big part of it. And then and, you know, as we did more research, I ended up becoming certified holistic nutritionist to really make sure that what we were doing was, you know, cause like my parents are, you know, our families, all our medical, like they're all in the medical field and there was no way we were going to be launching something, putting, you know, our investment and time into something that didn't have science behind it. And that was what was really exciting about what we were working on. And yeah, but so that was, that was how we got started pretty much that's leading up to, you know, or Adrian can talk about how, when she had stepped in and did, and we started making the flavors. Yeah. I want to hear about those first few, couple of weeks, Adrian, when you joined the team and what was rumbling through your mind as a food scientist and how you could achieve the product that you guys have.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:25:37):
Yeah. So just a little background on food science. When I went to school, everyone, I was going to school with, wanted to be a registered dietician. So it's the same, basically the same classes. And I had no interest in health. I just wanted to make things taste good. I wanted to make, you know, how do you make a fry crispy and stay crispy? How do you like, you know, I was, I'm just a big foodie. And so I think coming into this helped because, you know, my main goal is to make something taste good. And then if it's good for you even better. And so when I first came on, I think Celeste had laid out all the adaptogens for me to try on its own.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:26:26):
Like all of them, like maybe, maybe 1520 of them, like literally anything, get my, get my hands on. I was like, this is what we're doing.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:26:35):
Holy Bazell, this is Sandra, this is some kind of mushroom. And I was like, wow. And the chicken, this is what people want when people want to eat adaptogens. This is what it tastes like when they eat it. And I was like, wow, how are we going to make this taste good? And we decided to match. And then she told, she went through like how every adaptogens functions in your body, you know, what, what it does for you mood wise. And we, I thought, we thought it was fun to play with like, well, if this makes you happy, what's a taste. What, what tastes is happy flavor that we can associate with happiness? And if this, if this adopted you, it makes you balance. Well, what flavor profile is, is balanced in, in my mind. And so we went off of that. We based the flavors based on feeling. I
Speaker 4 (00:27:33):
Love that. That's so cool.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:27:36):
And so we have pretty happy, which is with Rhodiola. And then we, I thought like, well, what makes me happy? And we, I think we came up with something like a vacation, a sunny, bright vacation. And that's when we came up with passion, fruit, vanilla, and chocolate cacao. And it really interesting flavor profile. You wouldn't think that's something very acidic. And then something like creamy with like a, like a, you know, like indulgent, like back note would come together. But when you combine those two flavors together, it just it's pure happiness in my mind. And then we had pretty balanced with ashwagandha and, you know, I thought, I don't know. I think Celeste suggested like taking a bath and I'm like, Hmm, what's, what's something that's like beautifully scented, but that's also edible. And we, you know, we went through the usual Rose lavender, but you know, those have been done before.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:28:38):
And I thought, you know, verbena is like a, you know, it's like a traditional soap scent, I would say, but then actually it's, it's like a T in equity and Peru. And so we thought, you know, something peachy with lemon verbena and then, and then your favorite, which is the pretty bright use you, I can't think of anything that's brighter than, you know, citrus and the mother of citruses use you. It's like a combination of lemon, orange Tangerine, like all the citruses combined. I, you know, I thought that was like the ultimate, like, right. So that's,
Speaker 4 (00:29:16):
I think that is so cool. That's a really interesting process of attaching actual experiences and then figuring out the tastes associated with those experiences and how you can put that into your drinks with adaptogens. I haven't heard anyone say that they approach flavors that way. So that's so cool, but I do have this great secret, well, nobody else takes trade secret. No,
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:29:42):
It's all good.
Speaker 4 (00:29:44):
I will say I had pretty balanced, I think last week, like pretty late at night and I slept like a baby that night. I don't know if it was the drink or if I was exhausted, but it has ashwagandha and it's, I'm kind of giving it credit to the drink.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:29:58):
That's awesome. You know, it's funny too. So we did all of that based on feelings. And then my science brain was like, we gotta know if this is, you know, we got to back this up. And so, you know, we did all of that instinctively and intuitively, which is what I love about it. Right. Like we thought that all of this work together just, that's just how it should be. And after doing the research, we found that, you know, in pretty happy, for example, passion fruit is used traditionally as an anti anxiety. Like almost like an antidepressant in South American cultures. If you're feeling sad, they'd be like here, eat passion fruit every day. Like that would be their prescription for it. And same thing with yuzu, right? Where like yuzu, just the center that they've done a lot of studies in Japan, because they're so proud of this, you know, native yuzu plant.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:30:52):
And just the sense of it makes your like calms you down and also helps women with PMs. Like and so we were finding that all the components we put together all had a meaning outside of, you know, just flavor all from all different cultures. And again, from all general medicine, like herbal medicine you know, just from those kinds of backgrounds. And so I don't know if that was divine or if that was like, you know what I mean? I'm not sure what that was, but when we like even, you know, just even, even culturally right, where we're like, Oh, it has passionfruit in it, you know? And if you know, talking to people from South America to like, Oh my God, that's what my grandma would tell me to do when I was feeling sad, you know? And but that's, that's really like, I, I think that's, I hope no one else is thinking like this, or like, let's try to protect our brand.
Speaker 4 (00:31:51):
I don't think most of my listeners will be formulating academic drinks in their kitchens. So I think you should be okay. But I think that it's just like, it was probably subconsciously weaved into your DNA, you know, like from just how everything our genetics get passed down from our end set straight. I think that there's some kind of like subconscious knowledge that we have around to elistic healing and functional medicine. And like you said, it was probably its flavors associated with your upbringing and your childhood. And so even if you didn't know the science behind those ingredients and how they impact your mood
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:32:30):
Or your behavior, someone else before
Speaker 4 (00:32:32):
You did, and that was just woven into your subconscious decisions when you were making these formulations,
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:32:38):
You know, it's, you mentioned that, I
Speaker 4 (00:32:40):
Mean, Adrian, especially like tell her about your lineage and how you found out about how you became food scientist.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:32:48):
So I, you know, shortly after opening a wanderlust Creamery, an ice cream shop, I had relatives from my dad's side, that story, my father passed away when I was really young. And so I don't, I'm not very close to my father's side of the family and I don't really know them very well. But after they found out I opened an ice cream business, a lot of them reached out to me to congratulate me and tell me, Oh, you're following in your fob, your grandfather's footsteps. I was like, what do you mean? And that's when they told me, yeah, you didn't know that your grandfather was a food chemist for Asia's biggest ice cream brand, like from the 1920s all the way through 1970s. He like, he created a lot of like the staple flavors that exists in Asia today. It's kind of like the briars of Asia.
Speaker 4 (00:33:44):
I literally got chills. Yeah. It's crazy
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:33:48):
In my DNA. So, and, and, and I could never explain why I was always obsessed with like flavors and, and like, I would like peruse the aisle of the grocery store and be like, I wonder, I wonder who comes up with these potato chip flavors and how come they haven't made this way? Like, it was just weird. Like I, and I guess it's, it's in my background, it's in, it's in my blood.
Speaker 4 (00:34:13):
That is such a beautiful story. That is so cool. That's, I mean, we just think about like, what's our purpose on earth and why are we here? And where do these decisions we make come from? And obviously we'll probably never have the answers to those, but it's stories like that that make me believe that everything in our ancestry and in our past working up to where we are right now, like it all compounds on one another and helps our human race evolve and creates who we are from the inside out. Like, it's just so magical. It's so cool.
Speaker 4 (00:34:51):
So last, I want to hear a little bit more too, about your holistic coaching certification, and specifically when you were going through that program, what ingredients you were learning about that you knew were in conventional drinks that really surprised you and that kind of drove some of your decisions when you and Adrian were coming up with the formulations. Yeah, well, you know, I think especially growing up Filipino food is so much a part of our culture and I don't know, like being healthy, actually healthy food is not really something that is part of our culture. Which is kind of interesting because food is, you know, you use it, it's a celebratory, it's a, it's your love language. It's, you know what I mean? Like food is not just, Hey, I need to do this to nourish. And so I
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:35:38):
Didn't grow up thinking that food was nourishing. I just kind of, you know, food was food was something we actually it's like an action. And and you know, I, my parents are doctors, my parents' parents were doctors. That's my lineage. And it's interesting to me to look back and think, how did we not like, because it's this, you know, because this would make, it made us happy whether it was processed or not, we were eating it. And you know, looking around at my family and everybody having, you know, diabetes and heart disease and all of these very diet related problems. I, you know, I was just the tip of the iceberg. Cause I, you know, I knew what road I was going down. I was actually already pre-diabetic. Thanks poppy. I like my coffee with the sugar. You know, you have five of those a day.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:36:27):
That's a lot of sugar. I was already pre-diabetic and so yeah, I really had to look around and be like, take stock of what I was doing. And and I realized that unless I learned about it in a real, like, you know, I, I'm a, I'm a student, I'm a lifelong student. I love learning. And so unless I learned about it in a real way and not through like, self-study not through like you know, maybe my friend told me, like we should drink this that it would open a world to me in a, in a way that I could be confident about it. Like, to be real with you. I was the opposite of a kid who watched a documentary about, you know animals and turned vegan. Like that's what, you know, how some kids will watch a documentary. They're like, Oh my God, I'll never eat meat again. That was so crazy. I watched a documentary about agriculture and it turned me carnivores.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:37:20):
And so I really made it to pretty much like my entire adult life, not eating a vegetable, you know, not eating fruits, not knowing even the names of most of them, like not basic fruits. Yeah, that was funny. My brother was like, what's this? I was like, if they squash, he's like, it's not, it looks like a squash. He's like, it's actually a bumpkin. And I was like, it looked like a squash to me, it looks like the same family, but like just, I had no knowledge, I guess. And and for me, I just, I needed to break through that fear because by the time you're like 27, 28, like not having had a strawberry, you're just like, okay, the hell is going on here. Like, there's, it's actually irrational at this point. And so how do I break through that? I Sue through knowledge and that's why I ended up starting to learn about holistic nutrition, which when I assigned a purpose to the things I ate, it made me so much more conscious about what I was doing and giving to my body.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:38:19):
And so like even yesterday, I mean, like we definitely had fried chicken yesterday. I'm going to out us. We definitely had fried chicken yesterday. It's not something I do everyday, like I used to do. And it's but at the same time, like I don't look at that fried chicken and think, Oh, this is just trash. I looked at, Hey, it is a lean protein. It's great. We also got some carbs in there. There were pickled you know, there's like sauerkraut on it. That's great probiotics, you know? And I, I can break it down like that now versus being like, I'm just going to eat this, whatever it does to my body is whatever happens. Yeah, but so, but really when I started learning that adaptogens, that's when I really started to understand that what we eat becomes who we are and how we work in this world, you know, like I know that I suspend days feeling asleep and that's, cause I'm looking at my diet now having this knowledge.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:39:10):
And I'm like, it's because I only eat carbs. You know, if I was eating you know, toast in the morning and in and out for lunch and because there was like the only food place I could eat at during lunchtime where I used to work was in and out, it was like the only thing in Vernon where it's like warehouse district, like in and out for lunch. And you know, for dinner also, maybe eating cake, cause like, like, you know, I actually also didn't have a, it didn't show up in my body, which is why it was so surprising when I became pre-diabetic. Cause I was like, but I'm under a hundred pounds and I'm, you know, fine. It didn't show up. And, but it did show up metabolically. It did show up, you know, internally it showed up on my skin, it showed up in how sick I would be all day.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:39:59):
And you know, I, I haven't been, I haven't felt that way in years. Thank God. You know, and it was a very simple but difficult change. I think a lot of people have you're attached to how you eat, you know, this is how you were raised. This is what you do with your social groups. So you're attached to how you eat. And so changing that as actually really tough. But that's, so that's how I ended up doing the holistic nutritionist thing. Wow. You know, I needed to learn because there was a lot that I didn't know. And and I wanted to learn it from a educational standpoint, like an academic standpoint so that I could also help other people, you know, explain to other people the same things that I'm learning that might also save them. Yeah. That's great.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:40:47):
And like you said, it is so much about intuitive eating. Like if you want to eat that fried chicken, there are benefits in that fried chicken and then just support your body later. You know, if you eat something that doesn't have benefits just support your body, listen to it and know that you need to eat an extra couple of vegetables the next day. Like it's not the end of the world. Don't create stress around the food that you're eating because that just sends you into fight or flight mode and you can never actually rest and digest and just enjoy the experience that you're having. But yeah, change can be scary. You know, people are scared of doing it wrong or not understanding or not being able to figure it out. And it's it's scary to get started on something, but once you start, it's a snowball effect. Thank you for sharing that story. Adrian, I want you
Speaker 4 (00:41:34):
To peel back the curtain of the kitchen a little bit and tell me about your process. And actually you had the emotion attached to the drinks you wanted. You had the flavors in mind that you wanted to create, and you had the adaptogens that you wanted to infuse into these drinks, but what was the actual process of being in the kitchen, basically doing chemistry with all of these ingredients and trying to figure out how to get a good tasting product that also helps people reap the benefits of the adaptogens.
Speaker 5 (00:42:05):
It honestly was just a really lengthy process. It literally like we made, for example, like for pretty bright, we made, we must've made that drank. Like, I don't know how many times, maybe 35 times.
Speaker 4 (00:42:23):
Yeah. Even just yesterday, like quite a few times.
Speaker 5 (00:42:28):
Okay. By the 35th time, we're like, okay, this is close. It's not even eight yet. This is like close. And then here we are stage two, maybe another 35 times. But it's, it's really tough when you're, when you're dealing with something that needs to have a function because you got to balance everything, you know? Does the pH, does it city of this use, you choose effect adopted gin? You know, does, you know, it might be fine right when you make it, but then if it sits on a shelf, is it still gonna be okay when it goes through the pasteurization process, when we go to candidate, when we heat, it does, it does. Does the adaptogenic denature, you know, it's, it's, it's a long and lengthy process and yeah, it's, it's a lot, it's a lot of sciencing. And we search and a lot of, you know, going back to the drawing board, I think we did, we had another flavor that had violet in it. It was like Elvin, violet. And for some reason we couldn't source the right, you know, elderberry to where it would, it would work. And so we just have to scrap that one, even though it tastes so good. So,
Speaker 4 (00:43:53):
Wow. So if you have an idea for a new drink, you want to go after tomorrow, what, how long is that process until you think you can release it into the wild?
Speaker 5 (00:44:04):
I don't know. The last, maybe three months at minimum.
Speaker 4 (00:44:07):
Well, if you're lucky. Yeah. You know, honestly, cause we were lucky with these first three flavors. Like they came out on the same day, you know, like we just decided that first day where we're like, okay, so now we've tasted all the adaptogens, what kind of flavors are we going to make? And these are the three flavors. They were part of the first batch, but it was getting them perfect. That took a long time. So I would say, yeah, it took about three months.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:44:33):
But like this is our passion. So it might like we could be here all day doing this, you know, like all day just tasting the same stuff and feeling it out and like literally I think what's cool is that we all speak the same language right. Where it's like, I can taste something and I, I can relay it to her. It might not, it might sound crazy to you, but it'll sound right to us. Or like, Hey, this kind of tastes fluffy. And she was like, yeah. I'm like, how do we fix that? People always say that you and I speak the same language. Yeah. And it's, it's funny though. Cause it's true. Like I will taste the same thing and we'll look at each other and I'll be like, did you taste that? You know? And that's, what's fun about doing this process.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:45:19):
Cause I don't feel crazy when I'm like, I think that had too much of this, you know what I mean? Or I think this might've tasted like flowers where we didn't even put flowers in it. And, and especially with textures and things like that, like yeah. And so we could have these ideas, you know, we could have these ideas and ideas all day, but to get that process. So like to get it to manufacturing level, that's where it takes a long time, you know for, if you're just making your drinks in your kitchen, that's great. You can find like eight ounces of ginger here. You can find, you know, whatever juice there. When you have to find 30,000 gallons of that, that's a different world, you know? And and that takes a long time. And especially during Corona virus where all the supply chains were closed, all the borders were closed.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:46:08):
Right when we started our business, like that was really challenging. And luckily we were able to find a lot of American, you know, companies that are, that create a lot of our products and source locally. And that takes awhile. And then from there we have to get everything FDA, you know, kind of FDA approval, just make sure everything's within their guidelines. And then we have to go through process authority, which basically make sure that everything we make is has like, is healthy and not just healthy, but also like shelf stable has no bacteria like no microbes. So processes, authority, and like, you know, that's also really that's also a really intense process, just mostly because we have to know everything about our drink by the time we get there, because, and by everything, I mean like, you know, how much sugar is in it and by sugar it's like, you know, bricks and the pH, the carbonation levels how, you know, we, we need to also be able to verbalize what this stuff tastes and feels like.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:47:18):
So you know, so that as you go through the, the manufacturing process we have a consistent product and it's been ups and downs, but yeah, I would say like, I would say it takes about three months to get to where we really want it to be, but it doesn't take us any time at all to come up with these flavors. So, you know how I said, I don't think you have to worry about listeners, like trying to compete with you. You just explain the entire life cycle and I can double down on that sounds like an insane amount of work. If you ever need a cook in the kitchen, I'm not going to fly out and join you. Cause that part sounds so fun. But wow. I don't think people think about that. You know, when they buy something at the store, they order it online. They don't think about the insane amount of work. It took you to get that one box of drinks. Yeah. And you know, also, I don't think that it's common either. I don't think that this is how it's always done. You know, we contracted every co-packer in the United States basically. And we told them what our formulas were and a lot of them were like, that's too difficult. What about you just get flavor syrup and do that, you know? And yeah, like Adrian can tell you she's got a lot of co-packer experience.
Speaker 5 (00:48:35):
Yeah. You know, like a lot of people are, were opposed to us using fresh fruits, fresh juices. They're like, well, the pulp, the pulp is gonna, you know, foam up in, in the, in the tunnel, in the pasteurization tunnel. And you know, like so many times like even our last run or co-packer was like, are you sure you don't want to just use a flavoring and carbonated water? And we're like, no, we can't. And, and it, it, even though we have a recipe, every time we go to, to do another run, we still have to reformulate because seasonality, you know, we're using fresh fruits, fresh ingredients. And so just because the passion fruit from the last run was, you know, one way doesn't mean the passion, you know, the sugar level in the passion fruit for this one will be the same, you know, fruit fresh stuff has its seasonality and that's, it's added an extra step for us, but we believe it's a step, an extra step worth taking for the end.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:49:38):
Why were you so committed to that? I mean, I love that, but why were you from a health and science perspective, so committed to not compromising on carbonated water and flavor syrups?
Speaker 5 (00:49:53):
Well, not so much from a health perspective, but for me taste perspective, like if you tasted like, are, you know, I'm pretty happy with real passion, fruit and real vanilla bean, you can actually see the specs of vanilla in the drink versus, you know, flake, flavoring and carbonated water. It just, it's like, it's a world.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:50:15):
It's not much of an art. Yeah. Yeah. And then from the health perspective, you know, we, what we know about whole foods makes a huge difference. What we know about foods makes a huge difference. Like literally the only processing that happens to our drinks is that pasteurization and mixing the fruits are pureed. They're not extracts. They're not like, you know what I mean? They're not concentrates. Yeah. Yeah. And and that also in your body is way better. You know, like when we say, you know, when we have peach, white peach, it's, it's the white peach puree that it's basically like, like a whole fruit juice and your body can digest that because it knows what to do when it sees the whole fruit, versus when it sees a white peach flavor, you know, our bodies, I think of it this way. Human beings have been on this planet for, you know, only a how long.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:51:10):
And it's taken us, how long to evolve to this point. Processed foods have only been part of our daily lives for maybe the last 60, 70 years. I don't think that's one generation only. And so our bodies aren't there yet and how to in, you know, efficiently digesting processed foods. And so for me on the health side, I was like, okay, the least amount of processing possible is the healthiest thing we can do for women right now. And the healthiest thing we can do for people and make sure like, and, and, and make sure that it tastes great so that the off the options would be this chemical thing or this thing that's beautiful. Whole actually smells good because that's what it really like. This is actually made with whatever it says in, and you can see it literally, you could see it in the glass and you can piece out the parts that are in our ingredients lists. And that I wanted that to be, you know, their choice versus the choices, you know, versus just having all of this processed stuff. You know, I think that's the big difference between us and anybody else. You can totally have the flavor of mango, but when you have actual mango, it's a completely different experience. Your body recognizes, you know your body does better with yeah. That's,
Speaker 4 (00:52:27):
I mean, we all know that I'm here for that kind of mentality and approach to creating food and building a sustainable diet. And you're totally right. Our food and business industry evolved way faster than our bodies can evolve and catch up and learn what is this thing that's being put into my body and how do I break it down and how do I use it? And most of the time, those packaged foods, the answer is, I don't know. And so it either gets excluded or it gets stored somewhere in the body to figure it out later, which never really comes right. Unless you put a lot of effort into, you know, the days after that. So your body can actually process that and excrete it and detox it in the right proper way. But if you're just, I posted something on Instagram the other day, that's like, don't count calories, count preservatives. And so it was just really interesting because the standard American diet it's like in the morning, if you eat the standard American popular foods, you're getting 22 preservatives in your body, then you're getting 20 at lunch. Then you're getting,
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:53:26):
You know, 22 with a snack and 27 at dinner. That's how many ingredients for your body to be like, never seen this before, don't know how to break it down or use it. So I'm just going to store it because it's like just an overabundance and it's way too much stress on your body to figure those things out. So eating, this is why part of the reason I started the clean body podcasts, like finding those foods that are on the go easier or drinks that you can feel good about and not guilty VAT and know you're supporting your body is so important because there's just so much hidden stuff in our food these days that we just don't even mindfully think about. And that we've been misinformed about. I think, you know it's it, that's the big part about it is that, you know, I think the misinformation is that eating like this is expensive, expensive for a reason, though.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:54:17):
It's expensive because that's how the government wants it to be. It's expensive because that's how the, you know, these huge manufacturers want it to be. You know, and that's the other part about it, where we really have to take down or at least look at food in a different perspective healthy food. Shouldn't be, you know, it shouldn't be an accessible, but it is. Yeah. Something I always say though, to clients or friends is just, it's, it is a little more expensive when you are checking out at the grocery store, you're ordering your food online, but the amount of money you're gonna save in healthcare bills, it ends up balancing itself out the amount of years of quality life you're going to live. It, you can't put a price on that. More money on beautiful produce then.
Speaker 6 (00:55:10):
So hospitally, I would love
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:55:13):
To dig into the actual science of adaptogens and the ones you specifically use in your drinks right now, and just kind of share like high level, how they impact the body and fuel people throughout the day, or help balance out mood and anxiety. So the first one I love to hit on is reishi reishi, the queen, the queen of mortality. And that was what I loved about it. Like if you, especially in Asian homes, reishi is something that you would just have grown up with. You know if you're you're sick, you'd put ratios in a soup and you would have that. But reishi is for our purposes, it's in very nourishing. And also it has that stress balancing, like all adopted as do. And then it also helps with immunity, which is why we've paired it with our vitamin C kind of bright yuzu drink and ginger. And so that's really what our goals were for ratio. There are so many incredible studies though on it. And w what I, what I love about it is that it's kind of a, it's kind of great for everyone, you know? The other two are we chose, especially because they're great for women, but ratio is one of those things where anybody can enjoy that. What about ashwagandha? Do you want to talk about ashwagandha?
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:56:45):
Yeah. So ashwagandha, it's supposed to just calm you down and distress you. And I, I take a lot of actual condom nightly just the pure powder and I just sleep so deeply, like too deeply where I don't even hear my babies cry sometimes.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:57:12):
That's how, you know, it works.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:57:14):
That's a good thing, but sometimes alarming. But I've noticed, you know, my hair, like after I gave birth, my hair was just falling out in chunks. And that's normal with pregnancy during pregnancy, your hormones change, and your hair just keeps growing and they kind of, it kind of skips the falling out phase. And so after you give birth, your body's making up for that. But I noticed Celeste to ask me, like, are you taking off from Uganda? Because it does help with hair loss. And, you know, as soon as I upped my dosage, I noticed a lot of it starts stop falling out.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:57:54):
That's amazing. I never heard of that. Yeah. Yeah.
Adrienne Borlongon, Drink Droplet (00:57:58):
It, it just helps your body regulate stress better and just more calm.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (00:58:04):
And, you know, it's interesting because culturally, like in, especially obviously like Austria, Glenda is very, very popular in India, you would give it to your kids. It's something that you would just take if you wanted to, you know, for fertility reasons. So that, that stuff like with that side of Asha gone is not really well studied here in the U S very popular for like those, those folk medicine usages in, in those countries. And so I mean, what should be said about adaptogens is that no matter what you do, they should be non toxic, you know, they should do no harm basically. And so ashwagandha especially just has that wonderful, it's so wonderful to be able to manage stress. And that was also my intro to into adaptogens. It was the, it was the one that I looked at out of all the adaptogens I was learning about. And I was like, this one is right for me. And if this one doesn't work, then maybe these are all crap, but this one really worked. And like she said, yeah, hair falls situation. Oh my gosh, my hair is coming all the way back. And I'm starting to see it now or in as teachers and, and things like that in
Speaker 4 (00:59:22):
Skincare. So it's an inside out kind of thing. Yeah, that's great. I I love that we just hit on how powerful it can be for sleep as well, because I always have friends shoot me over pictures of different melatonin supplements for sleep. And I think that's kind of, you know, that's the popular trend thing. And it has been for a long time that the melatonin, but your body adapts to the melatonin levels that you're giving it. And so you're going to have to continuously increase the amount you're using to get the same effect, which is going to throw off your hormonal imbalances throughout. And so it might make you fall asleep, but then you're going to have some other issues because you are putting too much melatonin in your body and you're kind of messing with the hormonal imbalance of your body and ashwagandha is just like a super herb that helps your body come back to balance.
Speaker 4 (01:00:15):
Naturally, you're not putting a hormone in your body and throwing off the balance in other ways. So I think that's really powerful. I mean, that's what I love about it, right. Where it's like, it's like Goldilocks works it's too, too much, too little just right. And so regardless of what side of that Seesaw you're on, all of this becomes the just right. No matter how much gone or you take, you know, no matter, no matter how much ratio you put in your system you're never going to overdo it. I mean, it's possible, but you would need three pounds just to disclaimer. I was looking into that toxicity level, then I was like, okay, but I would need to eat three pounds of that myself. I was literally like chewing dirt. It would take a long time. What about moringa? Hmm.
Speaker 5 (01:01:05):
Actually helped me when I was breastfeeding. It helps me produce milk it's Galactica. Yeah, so my kids, my twins were, were premies and you know, it's standard practice to get sent to a lactation consultant. If your kids are on early or underweight. And they're that the only thing they recommend is galactic dogs. They say everything's anecdotal, like oats, oat milk. What is the other one? There's a, there's a, a spice that makes you kind of smell, but no, it's I can't think of it right now, but it smells like maple syrup and it makes you smell like maple syrup. It's weird. But, but the only thing that, that they said has been scientifically proven is moringa as a galactic dog. And so I would take tons of moringa when I was breastfeeding and it did help with my supply when I went to the lactate lactation consultant. They, they said that the only thing that has been proven is moringa as a galactic dog for increasing milk supply. I wonder why, but yeah, I mean, I think that's so interesting.
Speaker 4 (01:02:20):
I think you also bring up a good point that oats, oat milk. If you are going to try those things, you have to be really careful because oatmeal cats, most oat milk brands have a ton of preservatives and them in natural flavors. And that might not be something that you want to be consuming because what you consume naturally gets into your breast milk and goes to your baby and your baby's microbiome is just starting to develop. So you want to be, you know, providing the best nutrient support for them that you can. And even oats can be really difficult if there's a gluten intolerance or it didn't come from a good source. And so using Maringa sounds like it would be a really safe bet that you know, that you're doing something really good for your baby.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:02:59):
And Maringa, I mean, culturally, so we in in the Philippines, it's actually called Mulloon guy and it's used culinarily, you know, you would just throw it in. And that, that Maringa actually opened my eyes to how we cooked, like the traditional Filipino recipes that I grew up eating. I never really considered that they were actually healthy foods, you know? And and it's, so moringa was something you put in your soup. And and you know, I was thinking about it, like my grandparents, my, my maternal grandmother no great grandmother. She lived to be a hundred and she would eat that every day, you know? And I was just like, Oh my God, this is, this is how we live longer lives. You know, we cook it into our foods and it's stuff like that. It's stuff like Bazell, it's what else?
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:03:54):
Bailey it's herbs, it's, it's really just, you know, spices and things on a very micro level, like turmeric also, you know, is very popular in lots of cultural, like ethnic cuisines. And that actually is so in terms of longevity really helps. And for Maringa, you know, as a superfood, so moringa is not actually an adaptogen, it's a superfood, which means it's crazy nourishing. And I like to call them salad shortcuts, because you could have a little bit of Maringa like a table, like a tablespoon or whatever. And, or you could have an entire pound of kale and have the same you know, similar nourishment from each it's like the cow. Like basically you want to just have really good sources for your calories, you know? And some of us don't have time that, you know yeah. But moringa is really special in that way where it's like, it's just it just packs a lot of pop and it doesn't take too much.
Speaker 4 (01:04:55):
Yeah. I don't think most people realize too how much nutrient density and bioavailability you can get just by using natural spices and micro greens. I love micro greens. And just adding that to your food, I add tumeric and black pepper to my eggs every day. Yeah. Yeah. so, and I love to like mustard seed
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:05:18):
Powder can help, like with cruciferous vegetables and how difficult they can be on digestions that you just put some on your broccoli before you pop it in the oven. It starts to digest some of those compounds that are harder for our body to break down. So it's just like ease. It's just making your body have less stress and less work to do so that I think it's like 60 to 70% of the energy in our body is used to digest the food that we consume. And so the less work we can make it do, the more energy there is for healing, which does contribute to longevity and just enjoying your every day a little bit more because your body's not exhausted. Yeah. And on that note, like soups actually, aren't too bad. You know, we are in a society where we think healthy eating is cold salad and lean, but actually a soup is really helpful because it already helps your body digest, you know, cruciferous vegetables, like you were saying, like kale is more nutritious, especially if you start cutting it up.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:06:17):
Now, if you ate a whole week of kale or broccoli, even you, your body would actually have to wait a little longer in order to digest and take whatever it needs from that food. Right. but if you were to chop it up and let it sit for a little bit, it already starts that process that would have started when you, you started chewing it. But yeah, that's why I feel like soups also are really going back to my great-great-grandmother, it's like soups all day, you know, and that's what we, that's what we do. And it's funny. Cause you know, when you're sick, what do you do? You're like, Oh, let's send them some soup. But that's because it's easier for your body to get all those nutrients when they're already a little bit broken down. It's like, like I said, everything, I'm not a life hacker, like not a food hacker or whatever, but I just, I'm like, that's a shallot salad shortcut and this is a headstart, you know?
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:07:09):
So yeah, those are the things I think, like I said, I literally only just learned about vegetables and I had to figure out how to make it work. Like make it work. I went vegan for a little bit and that was really tough, but I needed to do it to know how to incorporate those kinds of foods in my life. And but there are tons of different ways and learning about soup really changed the game for me. Absolutely. I mean, that's why the protocol for gut permeability or leaky gut as it's called popular name for it today, that's why the protocol is all warmed food. You don't want to eat raw foods because it's so much harder on your digestive system to break down. And so nourishing it with warming your food first while you're in the healing process. That's why that's the go-to, you know, move for consuming vegetables and bone broths and other really nourishing ingredients. Yeah, so there's definitely something to be said about soup. I love soup. It can never be too hot in the desert in Phoenix for me to have soup.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:08:11):
I am curious, I've interviewed a lot of brands that are using today. They're getting really hot, really popular being put in literally everything. What I believe you use adaptogenic extracts in your droplet drinks. What's the difference between the extracts and the powders? Oh, it's pretty much that it's. So we use plant material, right. And the powder is, will include the roughage. The extracts will not, the extracts will include all the different compounds that would come from eating the roughage. But they are basically because we didn't want all of the powder to settle at the bottom, which for us, like with the extract, we'd be able to get the same in terms of bioavailability. We'd be able to get the same bioavailability, putting a little more extract versus putting powder in the drinks. And, but we've actually, you know, and the other thing with that is that the powder in the drinks we've actually thought about it.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:09:18):
We were originally gonna do like a protein style, but we didn't drink protein or I don't drink protein all day. I was like, I actually want something I can do morning, noon and night. I'm not trying to have protein before bed. I'm not trying to have protein, like just first nap, like and so, but there are absolutely usages for powders. But we decided to go with the extracts, especially because we can control the quality of our extracts. So, you know you can do a one-to-one, which is one part plant plant products, and one part, whatever you're using to create and the distillation, you know whether it's water glycerin or alcohol, which is popular or you can do three or 10, you know 10 parts plants to one part water, which makes it really, really highly just in terms of like high quality. So that was something that we wanted to be able to control. Yeah, Adrian, if you wanted to chime in, on, on our process with the extract
Speaker 5 (01:10:20):
And it also to, you know differentiate ourselves from other adaptogenic things on the market, it w it was all, like Celeste said, it was all protein style, creamy, thick, and, you know, we were just concerned that, you know, someone wouldn't want to drink that at all. And so it's better to get some adaptogens in rather than none at all.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:10:47):
Yeah. I know we're going hast an hour here. I could probably talk to both of you forever and I appreciate you giving me your time before we get to the wrap up questions. The quick hit questions. I'm just curious what it's like for you being women, working in the food and beverage beverage, CPG industry. Well, I'm glad we have each other, you know, yeah. Our goal is to be the baddest. Can I say this, the baddest in beverage, but like, we're always, we're always like, we're going to be the bad at the, be the beverage. Okay. Like that's what we say. I'm glad we have each other though, because it is, it is, it is different, you know, and I hate that. Like I hate having to say that it is different being a woman in food and beverage. And our, our experience has been in beverage goes back.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:11:34):
Like, this is not our first, this is not our first company. This is not our first you know, endeavor it's, you know, we've, we've actually grown up in this world and become women in this world. And that's why it's so important for women to support other women. It's a different it's it's it's, you know even, even the marketing of our drink has gotten pushed back. We've had you know, on a really big pitch we did in front of, you know, hundreds of people. One of the judges was like, well, your drink only captures half of the market. I don't think we'd be interested in it. It only speaks to women and I was like, and that's bad. Why, you know? And they even said that our product looked like feminine care and I was like, and it is, you know, and so it's just been really interesting especially in breaking into traditional beverage, traditional beverages, you're, you know, it's your energy drinks, it's, it's all of this performance, it's performance stuff.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:12:32):
It's very male centric because people believe that males have, you know, males are the ones who want to do performance and to, you know, endurance and things like that. And and that we are such a small part of the market, but that's not true. And it's honestly unbelievable that that would be even something that's a problem today. It's like, you know, 50% is not a big enough market. I don't understand how that's even even a thing, but we're here to create this for women because it seems like, and we can see that no one is doing this for women authentically. They might do it because they're like, Oh, we missed out on this market. Let's get this together and pander now. But for us, we know what we wanted, you know, like we wanted to build this from the ground up. Because as women are, you know, like our issues are so different and if a panel of men create a product for women, then it's going to leave out a lot of things, you know, Maringa being great for breastfeeding moms. That's incredible. Like and that's not something that you're seeing mainstream and maybe it's something we can make mainstream, you know? But yeah, like I said, I'm glad we have each other because we really, we really found that the level of the level of hustle that we have in ourselves and the level of hustle we can push each other to be it's has really created like a sisterhood among us. And that's really cool. I really enjoyed that about the space right
Speaker 5 (01:14:03):
Now. I also think being females in a male dominated space, it gives us a little bit of competitive edge
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:14:15):
Perspectives that other people don't our competitors. Yeah. They're not going to think like this. They're not going to think about periods. We're thinking about periods. I drink, I, you know, that's what Rhodiola did for me. I was like, Oh my God, I don't even know what I'm getting my period anymore. Like I used to know a week in advance and now it's like, Oh, there it is. I know it doesn't, you know, like I'm not dealing with stuff and men will never deal with that. They won't know how difficult it actually is. And if somebody found a solution for something like PMs, how great that would be for a lot of women, you know? But yeah, like she said, it, isn't it committed advantage. They're not gonna, they're not going to think about things the way we do. They're not going to create the way we have, I think, unless they work with us. Well,
Speaker 4 (01:14:58):
We are in a wave of change. And I am just so grateful that we have both of you representing women in a world that is very unrepresented. And so the last I saw, or maybe it was just the brand, the droplet brand call out like a clubhouse event where it was like 30 people, all men from food and beverage. And I was like, good for you because how, how does that even happen? How do you create a roster of speakers at your event and not be like, Hmm, there's not even one woman in this roster how
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:15:29):
I know. And that's the, that's the reason why it's different for us. Right. We see that and we can call it. They're in, they're not, not noticing that no, there's not a woman on board, you know? And that's, that's the change we have to disrupt. And the odds are actually stacked against us, but I'm ready to take them on, you know, like we've already beat the odds in so many ways. And you know, if only 1% of female run businesses get VC money, then I'm going to be part of that 1% this year, you know? And that's like, that's, that's kind of really motivating for us because we know that the world is possible. You know, we know that that world is possible. And but yeah, up until this point, like it's a lot of men just aren't noticing and it's time for a reckoning. That was a little bit that happened to me to be like, it's time for reckoning and I'm coming for you, but it's like, really? They don't go around noticing these things. They're just, they just, this is just how their roles are. So and BD. Yeah.
Speaker 4 (01:16:29):
Well, I hope that all of us listening to the podcast and myself can support you in bringing down that reckoning and getting the equality that you deserve. And that's not only women listening to this podcast. If men, you know, are behind this brand and you can enjoy, enjoy the drinks too. There's no problem with you enjoying them. And just like supporting what droplet is doing and that women deserve a seat at every table that men are at.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:16:55):
Thank you. Yes, exactly. That
Speaker 4 (01:16:59):
Let's wrap this up with some quick hit questions. So you guys can get onto your day. What does having a clean body mean to both of you
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:17:08):
Having a clean body? To
Speaker 5 (01:17:10):
Me just means balance.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:17:14):
Yeah. It means that I can go anything I choose to do today. I have everything I need for, you know, everything I choose to do, I can go and do it. I'm not going to feel too tired. I'm not going to feel too. Yeah. It's it's it's yeah. It's being status quo is status quo is yes. I'm ready. What is a lifestyle or diet habit that you have now that you couldn't live without, besides drinking droplets and ice cream?
Speaker 5 (01:17:45):
No, I, for the past, I know what's really trending now, but for the past 12 years, I I've been an intermittent faster. So that's, that's something I can't live without. I just noticed that I'm much more productive throughout my day and I'm just more alert and, you know, I feel like if I have breakfast, lunch in general, go through like slumps. But I just like this isn't, this is me throughout the day. And then, and then when I have dinner, just like down, but that's something I can't live without. I don't think I could ever change that about myself. Obviously throughout my pregnancy. I couldn't do that. And it did take a toll on my productivity and workdays. But that's something I can't live without.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:18:38):
I'm in an intermittent faster too. And I am all for it. Yeah. She's not even kidding about that. It was like 3:00 PM. And I was like, you want to have the sandwiches now? Like when are we eating? I think for me, yeah, for me, it's a cookie. I just, I was like, okay, if I realized throughout quarantine that I was like, keeping this local cookie shop in business. So I need to have one cookie that make my day. And last question. What are other brands that you currently love and support?
Speaker 5 (01:19:21):
This is a tough one. I gotta, I gotta sleep. This
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:19:25):
Seconds is a great one. A friend of ours started that it's upcycled juice, roughage that's turned into crackers. I love that. Yeah. She's, isn't that cool? So it's like, you know, when you go to a Juicery, they have all of that, like plant stuff in, in the juice and they make it into crackers. And so it closes the loop and it's sustainable. That's so cool. Yeah. That's one.
Speaker 5 (01:19:51):
I'm trying to think. I really like, you know, I really liked this Quito cereal. It's actually so good. I think it's called magic spoon.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:20:01):
Oh my gosh. I think you told me you had the entire box the first day. I didn't grow up
Speaker 5 (01:20:08):
Eating cereal. You know, I know a lot of American kids grew up eating cereal. I didn't grow up eating cereal to me, cereals like dessert or a snack. And so I think their branding is so beautiful. It's like, and it's, it's supposed to be sugar-free they use our yellows, the naturally occurring sugar in most fruits, but your body just doesn't digest it. But it, I could never, I usually can tell anything sugar-free it has a certain after taste, but this has well after taste. There's actually protein in it and it tastes, it tastes like desserts.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:20:48):
That's a great one. I'll have to look both of those that I definitely didn't know about either of those last but not least. How can people get ahold of your product? How can they engage with your brand and with both of you and what's up next for droplet. So we are now officially at about a hundred different independent mom and pops, grocers boutiques all over the U S that happened really fast for us. You can find out which one is near you at drink, droplet.com/dockets. And what's next for us? We are also well, we're also launching at a special retailer will. I don't know if I can talk about that just yet, but we'll be at, we'll be launching at urban Outfitters. Well, if you find out you can't announce that, just shoot me a message and I'll bleep that out.
Celeste Perez, Drink Droplet (01:21:41):
Like, so that's part of it. Like we'll, we will be one of the first beverages for the summer collection at urban Outfitters. And you can get us at Erewhon if you're in the LA area, that's amazing. Well, I will be linking to your website, your social media, all the things in the show notes. And thank you to both of you. I, like I said, I'm inspired and motivated by you. And I feel really grateful. This episode will probably come out in April, but I feel really grateful that during women's history month, I got to talk to two women who are changing history. So thank you so much. Thank you. All right. Well, have a good day to both of you. I appreciate you.
Speaker 4 (01:22:20):
Hey everyone. I hope you enjoyed that interview. As a reminder, this podcast is for educational purposes. Only. It is not a substitute for professional care from a doctor or otherwise qualified health professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it is not a replacement for medical or other health related services. If you're looking for help in your health journey, seek out a qualified practitioner, see you next time.