GOAT Fuel Is the Black-Owned, Jerry Rice-Endorsed Energy Drink You Have to Try
It was “the byproduct of a rigorous entrepreneurial journey”
Jaqui Rice Gold was two years and two developers into creating a peer-to-peer marketplace for hair extensions when she realized she was relying too heavily on energy drinks to power through her end-of-day workouts. She wanted a cleaner option — and so, in collaboration with her co-founders Jerry Rice (also her father) and Trevion Gold (also her husband), she created G.O.A.T Fuel energy drink, the first Black-owned energy drink on the market.
We spoke to the husband-and-wife team about their purpose-driven mission — and what it’s like checking Instagram when you’re wiped out and your dad is one of the most driven athletes in the history of American pro sports.
InsideHook: How did G.O.A.T Fuel start?
Jaqui Rice Gold: I’m technically a law school dropout. I moved from New York, where I was going to Fordham Law, to LA, to focus on my creative endeavors. I noticed a pain point when it came to hair extensions — so I co-founded a peer-to-peer marketplace for them.
Two years [and] two developers later, I started drinking energy drinks along with tea to power myself through my late-night workouts — still trying to be healthy by working out…but tired. I was drinking whatever energy drinks were in the cold section at the gym, and I didn’t feel good about it. But that’s where the idea for G.O.A.T Fuel came about. It was a byproduct of a rigorous entrepreneurial journey.
Your energy drink has mushrooms and uses natural flavors. Why did you choose that route?
Trevion Gold: [Other sports drinks] have been marketed as if they’re giving you energy. Technically, they’re not really giving you energy. They might help you recover when your energy is depleted, but they’re not giving you energy.
People talk about being jittery and crashing [with other drinks]. With natural caffeine and the addition of these cordyceps mushrooms, you don’t have those jitters with G.O.A.T Fuel.
Jaqui, your dad, football player Jerry Rice, is often referred to as the original GOAT. He’s also a co-founder of your brand. Can you tell us about how he’s inspired you?
Jaqui Rice Gold: We were tired entrepreneurs just trying to make it in LA. Every morning when I woke up, I went on Instagram…and the first image I would see every morning was a selfie of my father saying, “Just killed my Peloton workout. Go get it GOATs!” I was like, “I feel like the [weakest] person in the world because my dad is done with his Peloton workout already.” It literally grinded my gears. He’s got a ton of energy. He’s clearly still out there, getting it. He’s always also been so meticulous about what he puts into his body.
You launched your brand during the pandemic. How did launching then inspire you to give back?
Jaqui Rice Gold: We launched two months before the shutdown. With what was going on in the world, we realized the need to inspire people more than ever. We started to envision what we were building with G.O.A.T Fuel — beyond the fact that we’re an energy drink brand and more as a brand of inspiration. Just two months in, we started rolling out programs: first-responder programs where they got free G.O.A.T Fuel or a discount, as long as they could verify their credentials. We had a similar program for students. We automatically felt tasked with the mission of giving back and inspiring people during such a challenging time.
GOAT is the first Black-owned energy drink. Can you tell me what it means to you to be in a space so lacking in multidimensional viewpoints?
Jaqui Rice Gold: It’s exciting for us to be a pioneer in this space. We didn’t really know that when we got started — but once we got into our meetings with various stakeholders in our space and distributors, etc., we started to notice that there weren’t a lot of people who look like us. We decided to just lean in and felt even more inspired about the opportunity ahead of us. We thought that maybe we can pave the way for others behind us.
Everyone coming on our team, they’re stakeholders. They get a stake in the company, and they have to have that G.O.A.T mindset. It starts from the top all the way and flows through to our product. My dad wouldn’t accept anything less — he expects excellence. Trust me!
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