Rich Goldsmith and Charlie Leet-Cook: MOJU
Generating the sort of excitement which once surrounded innocent drinks, MOJU’s juices and shots are packed with the power of Mutha Nature
Rich Goldsmith, 34 and Charlie Leet-Cook, 32
It’s a vision that began in a battered old VW Golf. A vision that took its founders out of the City and back to nature, forsaking large corporate salaries to spread the gospel of earth’s bounty.
And so far, it’s bearing fruit.
MOJU, the functional drinks business founded by Rich Goldsmith and Charlie Leet-Cook, is stocked by Harrods, Selfridges, Wholefoods, Amazon, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and WHSmith, generating the sort of buzz once stirred by innocent drinks.
The founders, however, are reluctant to claim the glory. They say that only one person deserves all the credit: Mutha Nature. The term is stylised to reflect the fact that, in the founders’ words, nature packs a punch.
Goldsmith and Leet-Cook are bringing that power to the people, providing pocket-sized hits of energy and wellness based purely on plant-based ingredients.
MOJU’s shot products, are no bigger than a Jaegerbomb you might find behind a bar. But the effect is completely the opposite: MOJU’s functional product is tailored to the Strava generation, active people who need a gulp of guilt-free goodness to support them through the day. Each product is chock full of vitamins and nutrients, the ideal supplement to ensure everyday nutrition.
Goldsmith and Leet-Cook, juice hobbyists who studied at Oxford Brookes before entering the corporate world, both had promising careers in front of them when they got the idea for MOJU. They could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t worth the risk.
Instead they quit their jobs and mapped out their strategy. Having made their own juices to get through the corporate grind, now they needed to roll them out commercially. Too young to have made fortunes from the City, they had to use their old Golf as a mobile office and delivery vehicle.
Three years on from launch, the journey has been a remarkable success. MOJU is one of Britain’s fastest-growing functional drinks brands and its direct-to-consumer sales path has gone down a storm. Goldsmith and Leet-Cook have carefully built their brand so it can be scaled rapidly.
Now, after three rounds of funding, the founders are ready to press on. Four new hires joined in January, and the direct sales model is now complemented by a best-in-class e-commerce site.
Yet as they grow, the founders say they want to retain the start-up culture; it’s what helps to drive innovation and sets the ambitious tone of the company.
While other brands take berths in shimmering skyscrapers, MOJU is still based on Hackney Road, the beating heart of east London’s start-up culture. A grassroots organisation, in every respect.