***UPDATE: Since Paul Underhill and his team appeared on Dragon’s Den, this post has been getting literally thousands of hits. For those of you looking for places to purchase Rumble, go to this page on the Rumble website and activate the Retail Location finder.
To order Rumble online, go to this page on amazon.ca.
We’re all familiar with the vast choice of beverages we’re faced with at the corner store or supermarket; sodas, juices, energy drinks, umpteen types of water and even meal replacement drinks. Even with all that choice, a Victoria researcher couldn’t find exactly what he needed, so he invented his own drink.
His need stemmed from his illness. Paul Underhill was born with Cystic Fibrosis. He had been able to cope well with his disease up to his mid-twenties, but when he got into his late twenties and early thirties, his condition began to deteriorate and he wasn’t able to consume the amount of calories his metabolism was craving. He had to turn to trying meal replacements like Ensure and Boost on one hand, and vegan shakes on the other but none of it was really helping, so he started experimenting on his own at home and came up with Rumble.
It’s a little easier to say what Rumble is not; it’s not an energy drink, it’s not a meal replacement, and not a protein shake. It’s called a ‘nourishing drink’. Paul defines it as an all-natural drink that is properly balanced when it comes to protein and carbohydrates.
Paul and his team have developed two flavours of Rumble, Dutch Cocoa and Vanilla Maple, packaged in 355 millilitre aluminum bottles that retail for between $3.89 and $4.49, which is what you might pay for a fancy coffee drink. I like the taste of both of them, leaning towards the Vanilla Maple, which also has a great undertone of walnut flavour coming from real walnut oil. The Dutch Cocoa tastes like chocolate milk, but without the heaviness and sometimes sliminess you get from regular chocolate milk.
The name Rumble has a double meaning. First, it stands for the Rumble you get in your belly when you’re hungry, and second, he and his team wanted to shake things up, make a rumble with a new beverage that didn’t already exist in Canada. And I have to say that Paul makes a rumble himself…he arrived at our meeting today in Victoria on his longboard, he’s also a runner, a cyclist and a kiteboarder. Not bad for a guy who had a double lung transplant in 2011! His health has improved immeasurably because of that operation, so that and the development of this nourishing drink have really kept him going.
However, he and his team are not really making any money yet. Despite being different, it is highly competitive to make a dent in the sales garnered by the big companies…Paul knows that many new beverages companies fail after the first two years, and they’ve managed to survive the first year. They are in 500 retailers across Canada, and they hope to make inroads into the U-S market in the next year. And they are already donating part of their proceeds to One Percent For Hunger, an organization that supports food banks here in Victoria and beyond.
To hear my entire interview with Paul, click here to listen to the 11-minute mp3 file. It will take a few seconds to buffer before it starts playing in a new window.
Gold Medal Plates Tickets Still Available
This is a big deal. On Thursday, November 7th, the British Columbia edition of Gold Medal Plates comes to Victoria. This is your chance to see some of BC’s best chefs (including a few from Vancouver Island) battle it out for a chance to represent the province in the final competition taking place in Kelowna next February. Not only is this a good chance to taste great food, but also a chance to hear great music from Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and rub shoulders with some of our Olympic athletes. I’ll be there, will you?
For more background visit my blog posting of a month back, and if you want to purchase tickets, visit the Victoria Gold Medal Plates site. There should still be a few tickets left but they’re going fast!