Local entrepreneur mixes business know-how with the cosmos to create a line of zodiac-specific drinks
It was Eric Wick’s mother and sister who instilled in him an attraction to astrology. “My mom used astrology as a way of explanation for me,” Wick discloses with a smile. “If I had a bad day at school, I would come home and we could talk about it in terms of that.”
Though one-third of Americans read their horoscope regularly, Wick has a deeper connection to the metaphysical art. His interest stems not necessarily from its role in predicting the future, but rather from the descriptions of each sign’s personality, which he believes to be mysteriously accurate.
This intriguing combination of fascination for the stars and an education in business has led Wick down an unbeaten path, one that has culminated in the production of an innovative product.
His concoction and self-started business is called Star Nectar: a line of fruit drinks that are completely all natural, less than 100 calories and zodiac sign specific. Each is infused with herbs and products harvested during the time frame of a person’s birth sign and sweetened with cane sugar and stevia, which is a natural sweetener.
Wick maintains a full-time sales job from his home in San Jose. His Star Nectar career began in the spring of 2008 when, seeking to incorporate his interests with his profession, Wick sat on a beach in Santa Cruz and brainstormed outlets for his business and marketing skills.
After sitting by the ocean for hours, Wick contacted a local food scientist from Santa Cruz who helped him begin his journey toward the production and distribution of his product.
Before taking action, Wick educated himself regarding the future by observation of stars and planets. He continues to build on his knowledge of this subject by engulfing himself in research, particularly ancient Greek astrology.
It has been a long journey since that day by the ocean, filled with numerous tastings of potential flavors and reconstructions of the label design.
Yet, his efforts have not gone in vain. Wick has developed a significant following in the area, and his products are available in Santa Cruz at New Leaf Markets, Staff of Life and Whole Foods.
A self-proclaimed consumer of “new-age” beverages (his loves SoBe), Wick built his company on the idea of wanting to provide a drink that is healthy and tailored to the individual.
Wick began with the idea that beverages targeted toward specific people appeal to a customer’s vanity. He then noticed creatine, which helps provide energy to all cells of the body, primarily muscle, was added to the SoBe line.
“I had just started working out,” explains Wick. Knowing that his creatine-infused SoBe would help him achieve a healthy lifestyle prompted Wick to buy it, and cemented his loyalty to the brand.
“People have a higher likelihood to try something with an immediate emotional connection,” says Wick.
The concept of the cosmic beverages certainly is interesting, whether one believes in the science or not. Wick affirms that he has received mixed results regarding the angle of the product.
In one of his first testing phases, Wick stood behind a table full of Star Nectar across the street from a high school in San Jose, where the students responded: “What the hell are you doing?”
He has since received feedback from customers, ranging from “That’s a really crazy idea,” to “That’s really cool. I think a lot of people will be into that.”
Wick is committed to using local ingredients and services from his areas of distribution, including Watsonville, to develop his business. Hey says he is looking to collaborate with a larger distributor to expand his product from Monterey to San Francisco, and eventually to the entire state.
He emphasizes, however, that he does not wish to get too large too fast. He has no plans to approach the more commercial establishments, as he is still trying to effectively improve his product by keeping it on an accessible, local level. So far, the most popular flavor is the Aquarius Blueberry Lavender, for its distinctive yet light savor.
Wick insists he enjoys each flavor, as he was intrinsically involved in their respective creations, but somewhat bashfully confesses that the Scorpio beverage, being his sign, is his actual favorite.
“I’m into everyone being different and having their own set of characteristics, pride for what their own characteristics are and pride for why they’re different,” Wick says.
For now, only time will tell if the stars will align for Star Nectar.
For more information regarding Star Nectar, visit: Facebook.com/tasteyourdestiny, or your local New Leaf, Whole Foods or Staff of Life.