Red Bluff >> When Jessee Waelty needed to find a sponsor to continue his motocross career, his father Robert did him one better. Robert built him a company.
In April, BeastUp launched its first product, a performance drink sold in six counties and 70-plus stores across Northern California, including here in Red Bluff.
Getting to that point was a five-year journey for Robert, which involved his own father John and his wife Michelle.
It’s a journey the Waeltys hope proves successful so they can give back to other local extreme sports athletes.
Robert, a CalFire captain, said in 2009 he knew he wanted to build a company after his work running an inmate firefighting crew gave him the inspiration.
His crew kept using the phrase “Beast up.” Not only did they use the phrase they were motivated by it.
Waelty said he remembered thinking how powerful the phrase was and went about the process of trademarking it.
Robert, Jessee and some friends spent time in their garage after getting the trademark, making T-shirts and stickers with the BeastUp logo they had designed.
Robert said the whole time he had an idea of creating a drink to compete with the energy and performance drinks motocross athletes turned to turned after races. He began working with a company out of Los Angeles to formulate his own drink.
Robert said he wanted a drink that had no post-crash, no chest pain when you drank it and contained all natural ingredients.
Together they came up with a Pineapple Mandarin that utilizes pure cane sugar, instead of artificial sweeteners, and all-natural flavors.
The next decision was picking what type of can to sell the drinks in.
Robert said he chose the standard 12-ounce “beer can” shape because it fits in vehicle cup holders and vending machines.
The Waeltys then worked with another company, which did the legwork of brining all the ingredients needed for the drink to a bottling facility in Wisconsin.
Robert said there was some final tinkering with the product, until the final go ahead was given and 60,000 cans of BeastUp began being processed.
It was then that he realized just what he had gotten himself into.
“(It was) like a football field and you just see BeastUp cans… we got a lot of work to do,” Robert said he thought at the time.
Robert said he was so excited to bring a couple cases of the finished product back to California that he forgot about the air travel policy of no liquids more than 2 ounces being allowed on board — which led to a rather large checked-baggage fee.
BeastUp has worked to get its product into as many local stores as it could.
Robert said he’s grateful for all the businesses across Tehama County that are now selling the product.
A distribution deal has also been worked out with Foothill Distributing.
Robert said the goal of the company is to build a brand that could then financially sponsor other area youth involved in extreme sports like his son, whether its through a new bike or skateboard, or whatever they need for their sports.
“I just want to beast up their life,” Robert said.
Robert, who said he can’t thank his father enough for his support, said the toughest challenge has been funding the venture.
He’s taken the motto of “don’t let fear control you” to heart and will have it printed on an upcoming BeastUp product.
BeastUp has been seen around the community lately at events such as the West Coast Monster Trucks Championships and the Peak of the Valley food expo in Corning.
Robert said the company will continue to get involved in local events and a new drink product, to help athletes refuel, is expected to debut soon.