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Meet Tammo Walter, of ATAQ, a kick-butt, plant-based nutrition brand, in Costa Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammo Walter.

Tammo, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2012, I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Newport Beach, Ca to open up and run a satellite office for the branding and advertising agency 160over90. I’ve always been an athlete but with my move to Southern California and the year-round good weather, I got into pretty serious road cycling and started working with a coach and nutritionist. As part of my new training regiment, I was encouraged to prepare my own plant-based sports nutrition and avoid any synthetic food products. I liked the idea, tried it for about six weeks, and got really frustrated. It was too complex of a subject matter to just whip out simple dishes that would actually have an effect on my performance and recovery. One really needs to understand the biochemical processes in your body and what nutrients it needs at what time of the day within your workout cycle to do things right. It also required a tremendous amount of preparation and clean up time, which was not sustainable with my training schedule, my demanding job, and busy family life.

So I tried to find really clean, plant-based nutrition products that were particularly formulated for athletes but couldn’t find what I was looking for. The thought of why there weren’t more products available such as the ones I was looking for sat with me for a few years. At some point, I decided to look into it a bit more. With some initial market and trend research, I realized there was an opportunity for the kind of products and a premium athletic brand that I was originally looking for myself. What better way to start a business and create products than with the lense of being a passionate community insider and customer for your own products?! Together with my business partner, I started mapping out a plan, developing a brand, and hiring a food scientist to develop formulas for the product we wanted. There were some early testing and selling in 2018 but by the middle of 2019, ATAQ saw the light of day and is now leading the race in plant-based, functional nutrition for sports, wellness and health.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are no smooth roads in starting a business. And if there ever are, those are the very rare exceptions to the rule. By default, starting a business means solving challenges and getting across hurdles along the way. You encounter situations that you didn’t see coming and because everyone makes mistakes, it means that you have to figure out how to be successful despite people making mistakes–sometimes costly ones. The struggles we dealt with range from different opinions amongst business partners, to getting packaging and productions done in time to deliver to customers, to vendors going out of business, internal employees or employees on the retail or b-2-b side moving on to other ventures to now unprecedented scenarios caused by Covid-19. To be a successful entrepreneur, you always have to be alert and open-minded and you can’t be afraid of challenges or the uncertainty of the world and society around you. To us, while not easy, solving challenges always has been part of the intrigue and satisfaction that comes along with being an entrepreneur.

ATAQ – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
ATAQ is a plant-based, functional nutrition brand in the areas of sports, wellness, and health. Our products are particularly formulated for athletes, active and health-conscious people. We use only high-quality, scientifically researched ingredients and extracts in clinically proven dosages. Customer needs really determine our requirements and therefore product quality, functionality, and efficacy are key for what we do and are our highest priority. With our products and brand, we combine the best of two worlds–clean, plant-based, and cutting-edge products with a high-end, consumer-focused brand that is aligned with the mindset of our active and health-conscious consumer. We are extremely proud of what we have created over the past couple of years and that pride is continuously fueled by the feedback of consumers and retail customers alike. There is no other plant-based, functional nutrition company in sports, wellness or health that is an equally kick-butt brand as it is clean with their products.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There have been many proud moments in my career. For many years I worked as a Designer, Art, and Creative Director and something that typically motivates one to work in that field is to create and to be creative. As part of the process and when you are passionate about your work, you are proud of the creation. For me, that translates into building my own company. I am extremely proud of what my business partner, Nikki Halbur, and I created. It’s an ongoing process with ups and downs but the bottom line is, on good or bad days, I am really proud of ATAQ, the journey we’ve been on and the progress we’ve made. If I had to point to a couple of situations that stand out from the rest I’d say the moment I decided to go all in and do this, to fully embrace the challenge as much as the opportunity. The second one is the moment you experience someone truly enjoying your product. When it helped someone win, cross the finish line, or simply feel better along the way, that’s validation and it makes me proud.

Pricing:

  • Functional Performance Boosters (6-pack, 2 oz shots) $23.99
  • Electrolyte Hydration Mix (30 servings, pouch) $34.99
  • Electrolyte Hydration Mix (16 servings, sticks) $29.99
  • Plant-based Power Protein (13 servings, pouch) $34.99
  • Plant-based Power Protein (8 servings, packets) $24.99
  • Raw Energy Bars (10 servings) $29.99

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