How a NSW Supreme Court lawyer turned work burnout into a thriving nootropics business.
Mark Curry had the world at his feet as young commercial lawyer at one of Sydney’s most prestigious law firms when he started dabbling in nootropics.
Word spread quickly about the bloke on the sixth floor with a stash of all-natural powder said to boost mental clarity and energy without the crash of coffee.
Mark’s Tupperware container of pre-mixed nootropics would become a test case for a thriving Australian FMCG beverage company.
“People kept coming back for more and telling me how good they were feeling,” says Mark, founder of Savvy Beverage.
“I could see a gap in the market, so I quit my job, moved back home with my parents and poured my life savings into my research to build Australia’s first nootropics company.”
Working with two nutritionists, a naturopath and a dietician on his advisory team, Mark has quietly built a reputation as one of Australia’s top experts on nootropics.
His first batch of 11,000 drinks sold out in five weeks.
“But it wasn’t easy,” Mark admits. “I was rejected by 33 manufacturers before I found one that understood the value of nootropics.
“We’re talking about ingredients that have been used for thousands of years, but nobody in manufacturing had heard of them.”
Mark runs Savvy from Byron Bay, selling his drinks in more than 500 venues along Australia’s east coast, mostly in universities, TAFE colleges, hospitals and health care facilities.
He also sells direct to consumers, offering a subscription delivery service.
Savvy’s “Brain Boost” products include a range of sugar-free canned drinks, nootropic coffee powder and biodegradable coffee pods. Key ingredients include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, Lion’s Mane mushroom, L-Theanine, Panax ginseng, creatine, green tea extract, natural caffeine and vitamins.
“These ingredients are nothing new,” Mark says. “Nootropics date back thousands of years. Ancient cultures used them to improve memory, mental clarity, and energy.
“But dose is everything. It’s not just a case of having the nootropic. It’s about having enough of it to get the benefit. Every can of Savvy has 9g of nootropics – that’s three large teaspoons, and it gives you a huge boost in mood and mental clarity.
“There are lot of products on the market with very small doses of nootropics. They don’t do anything at all.”
Mark wants to share his knowledge of nootropics to help the entire industry grow.
He says the North American market is leading the way.
“We tend to follow the trends in America, and the craze for nootropics shows no signs of slowing down over there,” says Mark.
“We’re seeing new snack bars and foods that tackle specific things. There’s a bar for reducing stress and another for boosting memory. Another product for focus. It’s revolutionising the food industry.
“I’m launching a new range of nootropic protein bars by the end of this year. It’ll be a 50g bar with nuts and other healthy foods, along with a big brain boost. Coffee and a snack in one.”
Hear more about the power of nootropics when Mark speaks at Naturally Good on 6 June from 3.30-4pm.