Founders Talk About Unique Products & Company History
Photographer / Jim Hunt
Austin Rhodus and Greg Kruger of Russiaville-based DREEM Nutrition feel the timing has never been better to bring their line of hemp-based products to the local and national marketplace.
“We’re hearing success stories from people who have integrated our products into their daily lifestyle,” says Rhodus, company president. “We’re trying to make something that can truly impact other humans, and that’s what drives us every day. We have our own lab and make our own custom formulations in-house.”
Rhodus joined the U.S. military in 2007 after high school and served for five years. He began researching the cannabis industry after finishing active duty and became intrigued.
“I’ve always had a passion for herbal medicine and plant-based products,” he says. “I had some benefit from herbal products after getting out of the military when I had trouble sleeping. I was relying on CBD products and ended up incorporating melatonin to help me with sleep. That was what led me to turn my interest in these products into a business venture.”
Rhodus initially launched DREEM in March 2015 and proceeded to lobby consistently at the Indiana statehouse toward reforming the state’s hemp laws. DREEM obtained a license to grow hemp last year, at which point the company leaders began officially manufacturing products at a 42,000-square-foot Russiaville facility.
Kruger, who serves as chief operating officer, says the goal with DREEM is to create quality, hemp-based products to supplement the body’s endocannabinoid system.
“Science shows that the body’s internal endocannabinoid system is responsible for balancing and creating homeostasis,” Kruger says. “It’s involved in things like inflammation and pain signaling. Our body makes cannabinoids, and there is a plant that makes what we call phytocannabinoids – these substances from the cannabis plant interact with this system in our body. We’re seeing evidence that these cannabinoids can have a profound impact on things like inflammation and mood regulation.”
Kruger says the DREEM staff makes approximately 70% of its products in-house, and the product line currently includes Relief & Recovery CBD Gel, Full Spectrum CBD Oil, Certified Organic Hemp Protein Powder, a CBD oil for pets and more.
“Our Terpene Advantage Oil has been one of our best sellers, because when we started we really focused on a zero-THC product line,” says Kruger, who worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 18 years before co-founding DREEM. “The Terpene Advantage offers a CBD product that is enhanced with plant-based terpenes, which have been found to have pharmacologic effect.”
DREEM launched its Relief & Recovery Gel last year, and it quickly became a top seller according to Kruger.
“The whole goal with the topical gel was to make an amazing product without CBD in it, and then add CBD, because in our minds different cannabinoids are simply ingredients to enhance your products – they’re not the end-all, be-all, but when they’re combined appropriately, you can make your products better,” he says.
Kruger adds that customers aged 18 to 80 have purchased DREEM products, and many customers try the company’s products out as potential relief for joint and muscle discomfort.
“I think some of the older population are possibly tired of the side effects you can get from pharmaceuticals, and wanting to try something that doesn’t give side effects and is maybe more affordable,” Kruger says.
The pet products DREEM offers are also geared toward potential joint and muscle relief, as well as mood regulation.
“All animals have an endocannabinoid system, and our belief is that any animal has the potential to benefit from phytocannabinoids and cannabis in general,” Kruger says. “Different animals may be more sensitive to different cannabinoids. We have found a lot of people use these types of products if their dogs have anxiety or stress issues, or hip dysplasia and hip issues.”
Rhodus says his staff’s collective passion for the products DREEM offers sets the company apart as truly unique in the marketplace.
“Innovative plant-based nutrition is what we are all passionate about,” he says. “What we’re trying to do is bring out products that have been around for thousands of years and are just now reemerging. It comes down to focusing on modernizing ancient nutrition that empowers human vitality. We go above and beyond in our product quality to make sure the consumer gets the highest-quality products in the market.”
DREEM Nutrition is located at 310 South Union Street in Russiaville. For more info, call 1-800-915-9958, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit dreemnutrition.com.