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Meet Peter Cook of Largest Heart & Refreshed Traveler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Cook.  

Hi Peter, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today. As you know, we’re big fans of Largest Heart & Refreshed Traveler. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
I’m Peter Cook. I’m 5 years sober after recovering from alcoholism, opioid addiction, and a suicide attempt. I knew I needed to change my life and I wanted to share with the world what I had learned in my journey towards recovery and pay it forward. To do so, I launched The Largest Heart–a 501c(3) nonprofit (https://largestheart.org) aimed to increase awareness and support for substance use recovery and suicide prevention. The Largest Heart has been able to sponsor a number of individuals and families in the Orlando area whose lives have been impacted by addiction and suicide. For example, we sponsored two children who lost their parents due to accidental overdose. We sponsored a full-year of therapy for a girl who lost her father due to suicide, and we are sponsoring a mother and her young children now as they navigate the next chapter in their lives. Individuals can support the Largest Heart through donations and by joining our annual 5K charity race (tinyurl.com/LargestHeart5k).

It takes money to run a nonprofit, however, so in parallel with launching the Largest Heart, I also launched a for-profit called Refreshed Traveler (https://refreshedtraveler.com). Profits from the for-profit go towards running the nonprofit. Refreshed Traveler sells travel and health safety kits and was launched prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kits include face masks, hand sanitizer, tissues, wipes, and more and are all TSA approved. My understanding is that these kits were the first in the market. In addition to the company website, kits can be found on Amazon; Target; Bed, Bath & Beyond. We are also launching a Grab & Go version of the kit. In response to requests from mom groups and back-to-school season, we are also launching a new children’s line too.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I don’t think anyone running a business during COVID-19 has had a smooth road and when your road is also a road of recovery, there are sure to be detours.

Some challenges that I’ve had to face include the following:

1) Funding: Sale projections for Refreshed Traveler varied significantly with COVID-19, requiring more nimbleness than ever. For Largest Heart, there is more awareness of the mental health and opioid epidemics but also due to COVID and inflation, people have had less disposable income to donate to charitable organizations.

2) Copycats: As far as I know and based on our patents, I believe our Refreshed Traveler kits were the first of their kind; however, copycat or knockoff versions have flooded the market since COVID.

3) Quality control: Our Refreshed Traveler hand sanitizer doesn’t dry out your hands the same way many others do and our face masks have additional coal lining, making them superior to many others but, again, the market overflooded with products after COVID-19 with many online stores lacking quality controls. Our products, however, are FDA certified and of the highest quality. This left the market oversaturated and us with a lot of inventory. That said, I had a teacher reach out to me the other day and thank me for the products we make and noting that our face masks are the only ones she can comfortably wear for a whole day of work and that our hand sanitizer is the favorite one she has in the classroom from year to year. Hearing stories like that reminds me why we do what we do.

4) Loss: I volunteer as a recovery mentor. I’ve seen so many people begin to rebuild their lives and have hope once again. That said, I lost a dear friend named Sushmita, due to alcoholism. It’s a reminder to me that no matter how much progress we’ve had, one loss is still too many. As such, my work to raise funds for Largest Heart and to keep helping people in Orlando and beyond isn’t done yet.

What was you like growing up?
I’m the oldest of three kids. I was active, social, and athletic. I excelled in soccer and went on to play DI at Marist College and still play today. Growing up, everything revolved around sports and church. My Mom was a teacher, and Dad was a social worker. We have a very close family.

Pricing:

  • 9.99
  • 14.99
  • 12.99

Contact Info:

  • Website: https://refreshedtraveler.com/
  • Instagram: @refreshedtraveler
  • Facebook: @refreshedtraveler
  • Twitter: @refreshedtraveler
  • Youtube: @refreshedtraveler
  • Other: @refreshedtraveler TikTok


Image Credits
Peter T. Cook

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