By Mandy McAndrews.
Last year, Alexandra Phaneuf, a recent high school graduate and student athlete from Plymouth’s Rising Tides Charter School, was at a crossroads. When her original dreams of having the quintessential four-year college experience and playing competitive soccer didn’t go as planned, Alex did some soul-searching. Knowing that pivoting is crucial for success, she got ready for something completely different. She applied to Trinity College in Dublin and was accepted, and off she went for a new adventure. Alex’s interests drew her to the college’s Entrepreneurial Society, and from there Go2 was born.
The Go2 brand is all about nutrition and physical well-being. As a competitive soccer player for most of her life, Alex learned to seek out snacks that would properly fuel her body. She researched which foods work best together and studied the science behind those combinations. With this knowledge, Alex created her Go2 brand of products featuring a line of snack bars filled with ingredients that help bolster focus, immunity, recovery, and energy.
When Covid-19 restrictions forced Alex back to the States, she embraced the opportunity to grow Go2 from Plymouth and build a solid local support system, all while continuing to pursue her business degree from Purdue University Global. This ambitious young entrepreneur and certified personal trainer found the silver lining in a tough situation and adapted with grace and determination.
Q: What has surprised you most about starting your own business that you perhaps didn’t think about at first?
A: I didn’t think about all of the little details when I envisioned Go2. Being young and jumping into entrepreneurship sounded so exciting and fun, but it has been extremely challenging. I have such a respect for the people who have been doing it for a while on their own, because my head is spinning more often than not. From worrying about image load times and shipping costs or finding the sturdiest version of parchment paper, it is hard to keep up! When you think of the “life of the entrepreneur” it sounds so incredible, being your own boss and making your own hours. Unfortunately, being your own boss means making all of the tough decisions and working all of the hours. I have my days of being overwhelmed, but most of the time I am just grateful.
Q: What motivates you?
A: All I want is to make my parents and my family proud of me! I know that sounds really cliche, but it is the honest truth. They have given me so much, in terms of the sacrifices they’ve made for my education, sports, music, crazy entrepreneurial endeavors…the list goes on. At the end of the day, I want to show them that I am who I am because of the opportunities that they’ve given me, and that I’ve been able to succeed because of them.
Q: What’s your next BIG step to get Go2 bars and snacks into more hands?
A: Good question. I’m just taking it day by day. Right now, I am focused on getting face-to-face with more customers, particularly at farmers’ markets and events!
Q: What’s your favorite part about owning your own business?
A: I love talking to people about what I am doing. Participating in farmers’ markets and events has given me the opportunity to share my love for nutrition. Getting to connect with people and share with them my excitement for Go2 is a blast, especially when they get excited, too!
Q: We noticed on your website that a portion of Go2 profits supports The Phoenix. What made you decide to choose that non-profit?
A: I wanted to marry together my passion for health and fitness and my support for substance-abuse treatment. Working out has done wonders for my own stress and mental health, and I believe that it can be a savior for so many people struggling with addiction. The fitness community is so empowering and supportive—people who may feel like they’re alone can truly find a family at the Phoenix. I admire that.
Q: We know that you just graduated high school last year. What advice do you have for recent graduates?
A: I was so consumed by the college application process and getting into the “best school.” When none of that worked out for me, my life took a turn that landed me exactly where I’m supposed to be. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and for all recent graduates: just follow your passion, do what you love, work hard along the way, and good things will happen! Nothing is ever the end of the world, just a stepping stone to finding your real purpose.
Q: One last question, and it’s a fun one! If you could turn any food into a healthy snack, what would it be?
I would turn the most chocolatey and fudgy cake possible into a healthy snack, and I would consume it all day, every day!
The pandemic has shown all of us how resilient we can be, and this young entrepreneur is no exception. Her budding brand is already expanding into fitness services as well as additional healthy snacks. We are more than excited to see Go2 grow!