NEW YORK — Colin McCabe, co-founder of Chopt Creative Salad Co., is breaking into the beverage business with the launch of Free Rain, a line of enhanced sparkling waters.
Free Rain sparkling waters contain no added sugars and are available in three flavors, each containing a different adaptogen to improve mental and physical function throughout the day. Benefits include energy, focus and relaxation.
Energy contains Siberian ginseng, an adaptogen known to lift energy and increase physical stamina. It is paired with cherry and lime to give a caffeine-free boost. Focus contains ashwagandha, used to maximized presence and sharpen the mind, along with blood orange and warming ginger. The third variety, Calm, combines passionflower and blackberry to ease the mind and relax the body.
Mr. McCabe said his experience starting and running Chopt, a fast-casual chain specializing in salads and wraps, helped him get Free Rain off the ground.
“I have always had an interest in all aspects of food, including beverage,” Mr. McCabe said. “I decided to pursue Free Rain because I believed there was an opportunity to create something better and different than what was in the market. The most rewarding experience creatively has been product development, which began with me going to health food stores and mixing adaptogens with fruit juice and sparkling water until I found a professional to help perfect the formulas.”
Free Rain is a member of 1% For the Planet, an organization whose members contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes.
“I would not have started Free Rain if there wasn’t a way to connect it to a charitable cause,” Mr. McCabe said. “Our drinks are fueled by natural ingredients, so we have a responsibility to try and protect the planet in any way we can.”
In addition to donating a portion of sales to support the environment, Free Rain’s sparkling waters are made from recyclable materials and post-consumer materials when possible.
“As an emerging brand, we can be more creative and agile in finding opportunities to cut environmental waste,” Mr. McCabe said. “For example, we’ve put a perforated strip on the label to make it easy to remove before recycling. In today’s world, it is table stakes for entrepreneurs to be mindful of sustainability in their business plan. Some of these things are more difficult and expensive and while there should not be an expectation to be perfect, we should at least try to do better.”
Free Rain sparkling waters are available at select retailers and direct-to-consumer on the company’s e-commerce platform.