Bray Ketchum: Isobel Cup Champion and Entrepreneur

The NWHL pioneer talks to The Ice Garden about Upwild, her family-operated business.

Bray Ketchum is still getting used to the idea of being an Isobel Cup Champion. She and her team have had a week filled with celebratory events, including being honored by the New Jersey Devils in Newark last night. While the NWHL pioneer is figuring out what to do when it’s her turn to spend some quality time with the Isobel Cup this summer, she’ll be working with her brother on Upwild — a family business with a mission to bring plant-powered protein shakes to nutrition savvy consumers in and around New York City.

Bray’s brother Dylan Ketchum founded Upwild just over two years ago. As a cross-fit athlete he became frustrated with not being able to find the right post-workout supplements and shakes while spending 10 years abroad in Hong Kong. After working on ideas in his own kitchen, Dylan returned home to the States with some big ideas. His sister was ready to help him out however she could.

“I jumped on board in my second season with the Riveters to help him out,” Ketchum told the Ice Garden. “Since then it’s just been the two of us. We have a few people on our team who do demos and in-store sampling, but right now it’s just the two of us on the management side.”

As a professional athlete Ketchum understands the importance of health and nutrition. She believes that when you eat well, you’ll feel well.

“At camps when I was little, there were always those simple nutrition talks about what to eat and drink before games and after practices, how to eat and how to fuel your body right,” Ketchum explained. “I started to pay more attention to nutrition [at Yale University] when I started working out with Ben Prentiss in Connecticut. His program is not only geared towards athletic performance and hockey performance, he also does a great job of giving you an understanding of health and nutrition and how that relates back to your sport.”

As one might suspect, Ketchum’s teammates have been among the first to taste Upwild products in the last two years. Some of them have become big fans.

“Miye [D’Oench] and Kiira [Dosdall] are particularly big Upwild fans,” Ketchum laughed. “They buy it in stores and I also bring them our products. Our coaches also love it and Ashley Robbins, our athletic trainer, buys it in New York. They’ve been really supportive, which has been nice to see.”

Recently she’s geared herself towards a plant-based diet and has found that it’s been beneficial in both her everyday life as well as her life as a professional athlete. The Ketchums take pride in offering an authentic, nutritious product without any artificial flavors, sugars, or “nutrient-empty” ingredients.

“It’s something we both firmly believe in and I drink them myself being a hockey player and an athlete,” the Isobel Cup champion shared. “It’s definitely a family business. We live by our mission and that’s what’s important ... We’re not just telling a story, we’re living our story.”