Blair Fletcher Hardy and Jash Mehta are the co-founders of Pop & Bottle, the wellness-first coffee brand known for its organic, dairy-free lattes with no refined sugar or junky extras. The two met in London more than 10 years ago while they were both working and studying abroad, but after relocating to the Bay Area a few years later, the two reconnected and bonded over their love of San Francisco’s farm-to-table food culture and, of course, coffee. The two founded Pop & Bottle in 2014 with a broader commitment to provide clean, plant-based beverages that are meant to elevate the everyday.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STARTING YOUR COMPANY?
BH: The idea that we could empower people on their wellness journey, starting with their daily latte habit.
JM: As coffee lovers who are also very interested in wellness, we asked ourselves why there were no products on the market that met our own standards. It all grew from a genuine desire to create what we wanted in our own lives – and make it available to the millions of people who share our priorities and values.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN WHO ARE WANTING TO START THEIR OWN COMPANY?
BH: If I can do it, you can do it. Be prepared for unrelenting rejection – and believe that it will only make you stronger and more competitive.
JM: Be prepared to drink a lot of caffeine! Other than that, the most important thing is an unwavering belief in yourself. Actually see yourself making that sale, closing that deal, on the cover of that magazine. You have to believe it!
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
BH: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? (- Mary Oliver). Not exactly a motto but an idea that I try to remember and live by.
JM: Keep calm and carry on. There is very little in life that can’t be fixed.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PET PEEVE?
BH: Tardiness. I think it’s the height of arrogance and shows a low regard for someone else’s time. (Exception: Jash is always late – it’s just encoded in her DNA to be a little late to everything – and she’s the only person in my life whom I don’t hold it against.)
JM: Complaining, especially about other people.
WHAT DO YOU WEAR THAT MAKES YOU FEEL STRONG?
BH: Red lipstick. Specifically, Ruby Rush by Tom Ford.
JM: A simple diamond ring my mother recently gave me. She is the person I admire most in the world and lives very far away, so I love having this little reminder of her with me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WITH A BROKEN HEART?
BH: Break out of your routine – the places you went regularly and the things you did together. After one particularly bad breakup, I moved to Paris. There’s nothing like newness and possibility to transform your state of mind.
JM: Time heals all. It might not feel that way at first, but it’s absolutely true.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
BH: Parenting books by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. The five-minute journal. Pictures of my oldest daughter and my husband and I on our wedding day.
JM: Lunya silk eye mask. Unbound planner. iPhone XI with the Nanit app on.
WHAT GIVES YOU GOOSEBUMPS?
BH: I used to be obsessed with going to the opera. The often 3+ hour performance feels to me like the ultimate slow burn… leading to an incredibly powerful climax – like ‘Nessum Dorma’ in Turandot. Goosebumps!
JM: I am a real sucker for beautiful wedding speeches. To hear someone speak so personally and openly about another… it’s like peering through a window into someone else’s unique connection and humanity. It blows me away.
WHAT IS YOUR BAD DAY BACKUP PLAN?
BH: Nothing picks me up like a long, wine-filled meal with the best girlfriend. Ideally someplace candlelit with cozy, intimate seating.
JM: It’s incredibly rare now that I’m a mum, but I absolutely love a good binge-watch. My last, pre-motherhood, was several seasons of Game of Thrones. Those were the days.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
BH: Living a happy life. Which for me means being in the moment, having strong relationships, and feeling a sense of contributing to the world.
JM: Leaving your mark on the world. Achieving balance. Spending quality time with the people you love.
BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
BH: Do not live to satisfy the expectations of other people.
JM: Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.
WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT?
BH: When I’m in the flow, usually working on a creative project.
JM: It doesn’t take a lot to make me forget to eat. I’m often not having lunch until 3 pm because of back-to-back calls and fire fighting at the office!
WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU GRAB IN A FIRE?
BH: My husband and two daughters! Literally nothing else comes to mind.
JM: My husband, my daughter, and my Shih Tzu Paddington.
FAVORITE WORK OF ART?
BH: I absolutely love the work of bay area architect Howard Backen. I am a true believer in the power of place to transform one’s experience. His work is serene, meditative almost.
JM: Though it feels unpatriotic (I am British :), I absolutely loved the show ‘Hamilton’. Especially the hilarious portrayal of King George. I’ve been lucky enough to see it many times now and each time feel blown away by the epic storytelling, lyrical wit, and unforgettable music.
BH: Favorite book of the decade is The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. It took me forever to get through but was well worth it in the end. The central idea is to live life according to one’s own principles. To be happy is to have the courage to be disliked.
JM: I really enjoyed Michelle Obama’s Becoming. It was an insightful, endearing, and honest telling of her journey. Her grace and dignity are so admirable.
To learn more about Pop & Bottle, check out their website and follow them on Instagram: