Meet Après, The Cool Girl’s Protein Shake That Just Launched In SF

Après' founders, Darby Jackson and Sonny McCracken
Après’ founders, Darby Jackson and Sonny McCracken

I know what you’re thinking—cool girls don’t drink protein shakes—and I couldn’t agree more. The term ‘protein shake’ brings to mind overzealous muscle men, gross-tasting flavors, and weird-smelling powders. But that was before Après, the vegan, gluten-free replenishing plant-based protein blend that just launched in San Francisco and is coming to a boutique workout studio near you soon.  The new power drink is the brainchild of two young entrepreneurs, Sonny McCracken and Darby Jackson. With pretty packaging, organic ingredients, and scrumptious flavors (mint cacao, sea salt chocolate, and chai spiced vanilla), Après will change the way you think about protein shakes and the way you workout. “It’s our belief that modern wellness consumers, especially women, have been all but overlooked from a replenishment point-of-view,” McCracken told Haute Living. “We spent more than a year working hand-in-hand with this consumer group to develop a product that could not only provide the clean label and nutrition they’re looking for, but also deliver great taste.” Having sampled the goods myself, it tastes delicious and has a silky finish. If you’re in a hurry to get back to work after Barry’s Bootcamp and don’t have time to grab a salad, it curbs hunger instantly.


Jackson’s a former Olympic-level athlete and health coach who knows what active women like herself are looking for. “I found my clients, 95% of whom were women, constantly asking for a clean, convenient, post-workout snack that would sustain them until their next meal,” she says. “Most women are looking for whole body replenishment rather than just a protein shake, so it was important to create a functional formula that balances the protein component with other complementary ingredients.” Another thing that’s cool about Après is that it’s meant to be a quick and easy snack rather than a meal replacement. The 11-ounce drink retails for $6 and is sold direct to consumer. Although Whole Foods got wind of Après, McCracken and Jackson made a conscious decision not to sell out just yet. As millennial entrepreneurs, they see the importance of building their brand by conversing directly with the females who purchase their product. With over 10K followers on Instagram, Après already has a large reach and is actively promoting itself through fitness influencers, a catchy hashtag (#ownyourafter), and events.

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In honor of the launch, Après hosted a panel where Jackson chatted alongside two other SF-based millennial entrepreneurs, St. Frank’s Christina Bryant and Raised Real’s Michelle Davenport. I moderated the panel, asking the female founders questions about how they got interested in starting their own businesses and what it takes to thrive in SF’s startup community. Après also threw a workout class at MNTStudio, with owner Elaine Hayes teaching a group of influencers her signature barre workout, and an official launch party at Sweaty Betty, the stylish new fitness wear boutique on Union Street, complete with canned rosé from Winc and the requisite gif booth.

Order Après from their website in a chic six-pack now. My personal favorite? Sea salt chocolate. Cheers!