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Story #97Skratch LabsBoulder, CO

We’re here to help inspire people to live a healthy and physically active lifestyle.

Skratch Labs is a self-proclaimed work in progress. Founded by Allen Lim, a former sports scientist and professional cycling coach, the small business develops and sells food and drink products made from real, natural ingredients to optimize performance for both sport and life. What started with a hydrating drink has since expanded to include a number of products, including cookbooks, with the overall mission of providing people with the inspiration, skills, and products to take better care of themselves and their families.

In his years working with cyclists, Lim found that the sports drinks on the market were causing gastrointestinal problems and flavor fatigue for many athletes he worked with, so he began making his own – from scratch. He came up with what he called his “secret drink mix,” using less sugar, more sodium, and real fruit as opposed to artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors. Over the years, more athletes started requesting the drink, and Skratch Labs was born.

Despite the popularity of their products, Skratch Labs’ mission is primarily education. Says Lim, “It’s just as important for us to teach people how to cook in their own kitchens, how to inspire athletes to use real food instead of relying predominantly on prepackaged convenience food. It’s part of our belief system.”

Having come to the United States from the Philippines, and having shifted careers from the professional cycling world to running his own business, Lim cites the American Dream as a second meaning behind the name Skratch Labs. “It’s never too late to start from scratch,” he says. Furthermore, he views his role as a business owner as enabling him to have a voice in the community. “We live in this grand democracy, but the democracy doesn’t work if you’re silent. It doesn’t work if you don’t have a platform or a way to express yourself.”

As for the future, Lim hopes that Skratch Labs will continue to be successful and continue to help people, long after he is gone. Personally, “I want a simple lifestyle,” he says. “Success doesn’t create happiness. It’s happiness that creates success.”


Photos by Christina Clusiau

  • The team at Skratch Labs cooks and eats breakfast together every Wednesday morning at their office/warehouse in Boulder, CO (photo by: Christina Clusiau)

  • Members of the Skratch Labs team leave their Boulder, Colo. office to head to a trade show in Utah. The small business participates in many events, local and nationally, to bring their products straight to the athletes who need them. “It’s a way to market our company while also sharing food at events where good food isn’t normally available,” says Allen Lim.

  • Every afternoon at the Skratch Labs offices, the team takes a break to play basketball.

  • The Skratch Labs team packs their trailer for a trade show taking place in Utah.

  • A Skratch Labs employee applies labels to boxes of product ready to be shipped out.

  • An employee packages Skratch Labs products at their warehouse in Boulder, Colo.

  • In addition to their hydrating sports drink mix, Skratch Labs makes energy chews, cookie mix, and cookbooks, with the goal of inspiring others to make their own healthy food and beverages from scratch.

  • Employees at the Skratch Labs office in Boulder, Colo. The “Labs” component of the company name speaks to the science behind what they do. Says Allen Lim, “People don’t appreciate how science is not a set of facts or a belief system, science is a way of solving problems.”

  • An employee works at the Skratch Labs office in Boulder, Colo., while a dog sleeps behind her.

  • The Skratch Labs team eating breakfast at their Boulder, Colo. office and warehouse. “We believe that food and drink is better when made from scratch,” says Allen Lim. “We take that idea and ethos to all the products we sell.”

  • The team at Skratch Labs cooks and eats breakfast together every Wednesday morning at their Boulder, Colo. office and warehouse.

  • Allen Lim, owner of Skratch Labs. Lim was a sports scientist and professional cycling coach when he started making his own exercise hydration mix from scratch, finding that athletes needed a healthy alternative to the commercially available sports drinks.

  • “I found myself wanting to start my career over again but professional cycling was the only thing I really knew,” says Allen Lim, owner of Skratch Labs. “That to me was more profound; no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to start from scratch. That’s ultimately where the name comes from. It not only has meaning for us in our homes and kitchens, but in life.”

  • Allen Lim and Ian McGregor, co-founders of Skratch Labs. McGregor, a former cyclist, started working with Lim when he was only 16. “He’s the guy who clears the space for me so I can think of the next crazy idea,” says Lim. “He keeps it all together for us.”

Business Details

Proprietor: Allen Lim
2885 Wilderness Place Unit B Boulder, CO 80301
PH: 800-735-8904 / Website
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