Trevor Cochran, 30, is a Type-A. He was a football walk-on in college (but dropped football after one semester, choosing to focus on his just-under 4.0-grade average). Having graduated college by age 20, he immediately began climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder to achieve maximum success.
His 40-hour work-weeks became 40++. Instead of coming home to sleep, he occasionally slept in at work. He often worked on weekends. He moved uptown to get to work quickly.
As a credit and collections person on the “business-to-business level,” he told himself that the constant pace and ongoing dedication would reap more success and achievement in his life. He would, as he said, always find ways to “fix things” but never get rewarded for his achievements.
Within that period, he developed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acid reflux and excessive daytime tiredness. He also gained 50 pounds.
By age 25, he knew that something was wrong –the medication for the acid reflux made his acne, IBS, and hypersomnia worse while the acne meds exacerbated his headaches. His cholesterol levels were rising, and despite working out and running long miles, he could not reduce his symptoms nor lose weight. (His Hispanic relatives all struggle with some form of diabetes.)
And, so began his journey to find wellness.
When the head of his running group suggested the work of Mark Sisson (Paleo Diet), he immediately closeted himself off one weekend and read everything he could find. He was hooked. Within a year, he lost the weight and nearly all of his symptoms. He was on the verge of changing his entire life.
During this same time, he met his girlfriend (the daughter of a chef); his journey toward good health merged with the exquisite palette of his then future-wife and the necessity to please her. He got “good at cooking,” as he said, and at making spices.
He continued his voracious reading and learned more about clean eating, healthful spices, and the harmful nuances in foodstuff.
He recognized that he had severe leaky gut issues and that drinking bone broth would plug the holes. He looked around and found some bone broths, but found none he enjoyed.
At age 28, he began his last stretch in the business world as a contract employee training his replacements in the business of collections as his employer began outsourcing. His job was intended to end in spring of 2018.
Over the years, he had squirreled away his monies. When he married his wife, they began to squirrel it away, together. Both knew they “didn’t want to be in middle management for the rest of [their] lives.” He knew he had “way too much entrepreneurial spirit.”
He perfected his bone broth and soon perfected his spices. He found and rented a commercial kitchen dedicating the required 48-72 hours to make his broth. When digital pressure cookers hit the market, he changed that time to just under 10 hours. He began educating people about the benefits of his products.
He began his company, Pure Old World, Inc., full time that same spring of 2018 - launching at the Matthews Farmer’s Market. “Matthews has been just great,” he said.
Today, less than one year in business, he can “cover his costs” and is now in multiple stores with plans for expansion. He’s also done many “pop-up” events in the region, trying to spread awareness for his products.
Currently, he purchases bones from two local NC/SC farmers who are using sustainable agriculture and keeping an eye on environmental concerns. After confirming all the necessary qualifications, he inspects and walks the farms thoroughly before he chooses them. He’s looking not only for free-range and organically fed but for chickens using non-GMO feed; he must also be able to “walk with them in pasture.” He is currently negotiating with four more local farmers.
In the next handful of years, Trevor’s goal is to branch out into small regional companies – in other directions – clothing, shoes and, especially, eyewear. He says he has no interest in doing work on a national or international level. “Everything we like to do is about freedom, and not just by us but for others,” he said. “Understanding the trade network – where the goods come from. Focus on employing people locally.”
When he purchases a commercial kitchen, he’d like to host events and branch out into producing “cooking fats.” He also wants to sell bone broth in local coffee shops since customers drink it “like coffee and tea.”
He proudly regales the stories of customers who say his bone broth and spices have helped heal various ailments. “You feel better about [this] work,” he says, in relation to the previous professional work he did.
“I want people to understand where the bones for their bone broth comes from – that it matters,” said Trevor. “That the food they are buying impacts their local environment and for people to understand that if they (also) have an autoimmune condition, their lives can get better through the foods they eat. …If you can change your diet and lifestyle,” he added, “it can change your life.”