Meet: Tricia McNeilly

Today's Renegade Master is Tricia McNeilly, founder of  ötzibrew, a company on a mission to revolutionise the hot drinks market with a range of natural, healthy coffee alternatives. In this interview Tricia explains how she identified a gap in the health food market for ‘coffee without the coffee’.

By Jamie Hutchinson

Fri June 21st 2024

Fancy a Coffee Without the Coffee?

Ever thought to yourself during a mid-afternoon energy slump, 'well, I need a coffee to liven me up, but I don't want to struggle getting to sleep tonight'. Well, Tricia McNeilly had the exact same problem, and in response launched ötzibrew - a natural, healthy range of coffee alternatives.

Jamie: I love the idea of healthy, natural alternatives to coffee - how did you come up with the concept?

Tricia: I was addicted to caffeine, my sleep was affected and I was getting really bad headaches. I just didn’t want another coffee in the afternoon, nor did I want to drink tea. So I set about creating some natural, healthy coffee alternatives.

Jamie: What makes ötzibrew stand out?

Tricia: It’s ‘coffee without the coffee’ - a head-clearing taste that lifts brain fog, but without the burden of the buzz. Plus it’s in very cool award winning packaging that is sustainable and plastic free.

Jamie: What has been your biggest business challenge so far?

Tricia: Phew, every single day there is a new challenge! Main one at the minute is because we decided not to use any plastic in the tubs, the product clumps. So now I stay awake worrying that the company may fail because we’re trying too hard to be plastic free and more sustainable!

Jamie: Which type of marketing delivers the biggest 'bang for your buck'?

Tricia: Word of mouth has been the best, but it’s difficult to scale. We’re making a big marketing push early next year.

Jamie: Have any of your marketing efforts been a disaster?

Tricia: We did once spend £1000 on a newspaper article that brought us in 1 new customer 😂

Jamie: What's your proudest business achievement to date?

Tricia: Got 2 ‘Free From’ awards straight off the bat for the new products - a bronze award for 'Best Store Cupboard' product and a silver for ‘Most Sustainable and Chic Design’. We also got shortlisted in the ‘Better for You’ category in Food Matters Live.

Jamie: If you could have your time again, what would you have done differently?

Tricia: Take time to breathe!

Jamie: What experience/expertise, if any, did you have before you started the business?

Tricia: Hmm, well I brought a coconut drink to the market back in 2011 just before the trend kicked off - it was a crazy time. I also say here I’ve been eating and drinking for 60 years and that’s gotta count for something!

Jamie: What does future success look like to you?

Tricia: I’ll be able to go to coffee shops all over the world and order an ötzibrew. And customers everywhere will be benefiting from better sleep and improved health!

Why we love it:

Tricia knows exactly who she's picking a fight with, has found a deep, profitable niche, and is leading a crusade for better sleep and improved health, flawlessly executing three of the Renegade Rules:

Rule #1: Pick Fights

Rule #2: Own Your Niche

Rule #6: Lead a Crusade

You can find out more about ötzibrew here: ötzibrew


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