Q&A with Jeff and Jenny Vierling
Jeff and Jenny Vierling co-founded Tailwind Nutrition in 2012, after Jeff decided he was fed up with the gut-turning nutrition for athletes that was available at the time. We recently asked our community what they wanted to know about Jeff and Jenny, and this dynamic duo took the time to answer your questions! Check out our Instagram highlights here to see more. Question: Do you have any plans for new products you can share like vitamins, electrolytes only…? Jenny: Well, you know, there’s so few surprises left in life nowadays, so just know we're working on new stuff! Question: Have you considered making a TW product that doesn’t have to be mixed with liquid? Jeff: For during a workout, a liquid has a lot of advantages; we definitely have thought about maybe doing a non-liquid for recovery, but it's a pretty big change from a manufacturing standpoint. Question: Thinking about any type of BCAA products? Jeff: One of our guiding principles is to only include ingredients that are proven to help with performance. The studies on BCAAs are pretty mixed, but it's certainly fine to supplement with BCAAs if you find they are working well for you. Question: How is the current product similar or different from how you envisioned it? Jeff: The formula itself is largely the same, but we changed the packaging a lot from canisters in the early days, to hand applied stickers on bags, and now printed packaging. It’s pretty cool to see how some of those early ideas have evolved. Question: Are you aware that Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie uses Tailwind for his ultra running? Jenny: So we are aware that Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie uses Tailwind. We first learned about it on a podcast, so that was really cool to hear and we're just glad that it successfully got him through his hundred! Yay! Question: What is the weirdest flavor you’ve ever been asked to make? Jeff: This isn't a flavor request per se, but the weirdest request we had was from somebody who wanted us to certify that none of our products contained mammalian meat. We told them that none of our products do, except for the baby seal flavor ;) . Question: How did you choose Colorado as the home of Tailwind? Jenny: So we’ve lived in Colorado now for over 20 years, and when we first started the company we made the decision that we really wanted to be able to create jobs and support the community in which we live. So that's why Tailwind is here! Question: What hobbies do you enjoy when you’re not making us amazing Tailwind? Jeff: I've always liked working with my hands and solving engineering problems, so I love woodworking and just puttering around in the shop and fixing things in the house. Question: Favorite Rebuild smoothie recipes?! Jeff: A simple one that I love is to add some Coffee Rebuild and a banana in a blender, throw in some ice and water, and then just whip it up until it’s nice and drinkable with little chunks of ice. Question: How do you stay motivated when business gets tough? Jeff: My go-to is to get myself outdoors and lose myself in the forest, but honestly right now when things are pretty tough, it’s pretty cool that we've been able to help hospitals and healthcare workers with the Hospital Support Program. Question: How many pounds of Tailwind do you distribute a year? Jeff: We make more than 500,000 pounds of Tailwind yearly, and that's all made in Bayfield, just outside Durango, and shipped all over the world. Question: What was your biggest pre-production failure? Jenny: We were moving from Dolores to our new facility in Bayfield, and we had a U-Haul truck and it completely broke down, so we had to get another U-Haul to take the original U-Haul truck on a flatbed to our new facility! Question: What product or flavor went completely sideways? Jeff: Just as we were starting Rebuild production, one of our suppliers sent us an email on Friday afternoon saying they were discontinuing their product. We had to go back to the drawing board and it actually resulted in a better product, but it almost went sideways on us. Question: What is currently the number one most purchased flavor? Jeff: Mandarin Orange Endurance Fuel is our most popular flavor and it has been since day one, but during the coronavirus we've really seen a lot of people buying Rebuild and chocolate is the one that's leading the way! Question: Favorite flavor & why? Jenny: Mine absolutely is the Chocolate Rebuild, not only because it tastes great but when I get back from a really long ride, it just brings me back from the dead.