We had the good fortune of connecting with Salim Mekhmoukh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Salim, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I was born in Algeria, (grew up in East Cobb) and while visiting in 2019, I stumbled upon an energy drink that I liked so much, I wanted to bring it back home to Atlanta. Now, I didn’t have any experience in the beverage world, but I did have experience running a distribution company. A series of unfortunate obstacles stopped me from importing the drink so I decided, why not create my own. Then the pandemic hit and everything changed. With my company on hold, I decided to go for it and teamed up with my friend and mentor, Hicham Azhari (F&H Food Trading Group). We spent our time in the kitchen, thinking of everything we needed to create the perfect energy drink. We drew logos and threw around possible names. We met with scientists and came up with everything we wanted in one can: hydration, nutrition, electrolytes and the key ingredient, astaxanthin. It’s the reason salmon and shrimp turn red when you cook it. It has anti-inflammatory properties, so much so, that NASA is testing growing it in space to see if it can be used during extended missions to help alleviate inflammation. We came up with and tested five flavors and the name? MADO sounds like “motto”. My motto is work hard so you can play hard.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I think MADO is going to be a game changer in the energy drink world. There is nothing like it. My hope is that it finds its way across the globe. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, derived from microalgae that most people don’t know about and don’t know how to pronounce. (took me a while) It can provide so many health benefits including immune system support and protection from UV rays. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve learned a lot, like being patient. Patience is a key when starting your own business. This process has inspired me to live a healthier lifestyle and I’m hoping I can inspire others as well, one can at a time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Buckhead so the first place we’d go is Little Alley Steak. Then maybe checkout one of the many breweries in town like Midtown Brewing Company. My friends and I love sports so gotta take in a Braves or Falcons game or a United Soccer match. The High Museum is a cool place to be when they have jazz night and it’s a short walk to Piedmont Park. The best sushi place is Umi, that is definitely on the list with drinks at Himitsu first. The Aquarium is pretty cool and while we’re in the area, we’d walk around Centennial Olympic Park. There are so many great places to eat and people to see along the Beltline. And I’d wrap up the weekend with brunch at The Garden Room.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a special Shoutout to my sister Kahina. She’s more than a sister, she’s my best friend. She is always there for me whether it’s in business or relationships or life in general. She’s a single mom who works so hard, and she never complains. She is always happy and sees the glass as half full. She’s my biggest cheerleader and I wouldn’t be who I am today without her love and support.