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Think the American dream is dead? Midway Labs insists you reconsider. “I started my business in my heart, in my mind, with the American dream,” says Wilton Colle, who began manufacturing pills and powders out of his mother’s São Paulo garage in 1991. The Brazilian army reserves vet named his company after the Battle of Midway, the historic World War II battle, and it grew quickly. Within a decade, Midway boasted 400 employees and $27 million in revenue. Colle’s secret? Pursuing the mass market. “Midway carries a mission to bring health to not just bodybuilders but everyone,” the entrepreneur explains. “So I put my products on as many shelves as possible.”
Unfortunately, corrupt Brazilian policies then decimated the company, forcing Colle to rebuild almost from scratch. But inspired by (no joke) the Founding Fathers and the company slogan, “Build Yourself,” he persevered, even enlisting daughter Catherine…early. “She was taking BCAAs direct from the tablet press machine [as a toddler],” Colle recalls. “I thought it was candy,” jokes Catherine, who progressed from doing social media for the company as a teenager to vice president.
Wilton Colle with wife Jelly and daughter Catherine
Now the pair is transforming Midway into an all-American brand. With $600 million in investments, they’re planning to bring all production stateside and build the world’s biggest dietary supplement research center near their Miami-area headquarters. And that’s not all.
With a desire to launch new product lines, the Colles brought in Military Trail, which is as patriotic as it gets. “The United States for me is the light of the world,” Colle says. “But I know freedom is not free, and I wanted to return something to the people who sacrifice for this system.” Five percent of the line’s proceeds go to support 11 charities associated with military vets. That detail thrills brand ambassadors, including former Marine Corps sniper and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer (pictured above). “So many brands use the ‘military’ term without ever giving anything back,” he observes. “These guys really care about the military community. That’s why I wanted to get involved.”
Of course, for the dreamer behind Midway, there was one more key to the American expansion: to be the presenting sponsor of the 2018 Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend. “I grew up looking up to guys in Mr. Olympia as heroes, the people who inspire me to go to the gym,” Colle says. “So it’s a great honor to be involved with the event.”