Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

John Carey

Founder: Active Edge Nutrition Limited

Alumnus John studied Accounting and Financial Management at Loughborough University and graduated in 1991. He began his career in finance with Touche and later forged a successful career as a Leasing and Finance Specialist. Following several periods of gout, John decided to quit his job and embark on entrepreneurship. Find out more about the story behind his business.

The beginning

During his time at Loughborough, John embraced opportunities that the University afforded him. He was a keen sportsman with a black belt in Judo, a marathon runner and a mountain biker. His range of experiences at Loughborough helped John to develop his entrepreneurial spirit – and of course a competitive spirit.

As a gout sufferer, John decided to take the matter into his own hands, and create a product that would help to relieve the symptoms. John quit his job and decided to start his own business, CherryActive, making cherry juice in the UK. Inspired by a friend in the USA to try cherry juice, John was disappointed to find that this was lacking in the UK. He tried some by visiting a farm and had excellent results. From there he decided to try to make this bigger:

“I called up the farm and arranged to import some of the cherry juice as thick concentrate. A few friends tried the juice too and I was soon able to put in a regular order.”

The business starts growing

He began trading in January 2006 and found quick success with the business and as sales began to rise, John decided to expand and look into developing other products.

“I developed a freeze-dried cherry powder with practically zero calories for customers who wanted the benefit of cherries without the fruit sugar.

I also decided to approach London Irish Rugby team. The cherry juice has not only helped to reduce the incidences and severity of my gout, but also helped me to recover following long runs and judo training. The rugby players found similar benefits, which enabled them to get more out of their training.”

Hundreds of top sportspeople, including premiership and international footballers and GB Olympians, now consume the juice.

How did Loughborough help?

“Research collaborations with Loughborough University and London South Bank University investigated the claims that the juice had such positive benefits – and the results proved that there was a boost in recovery rates following sport.

My time at Loughborough as a student also helped my entrepreneurial journey in many ways. My degree gave me a good understanding of accounting, finance and the details of how a business operates.

One of my modules focussed on entrepreneurship, which gave me the desire to start my own business one day.

My friends at Loughborough became an excellent source of business contacts, a number of whom have ended up at professional sports teams and have even become business clients.”

Following the success of the cherry juice, John expanded his range to include beetroot; blueberry and pomegranate concentrated juices. He renamed his company from CherryActive to Active Edge Nutrition Ltd to reflect this.

Active Edge has also opened distributors in countries worldwide, including Ireland, South Africa, China and Australia.

John graduated with a degree in Accounting And Financial Management in 1991. 

Find out more about Active Edge Nutrition online.

+44(0)1509 228497

Hazlerigg Building
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU  UK