Alex Ingalls, owner/operator of Pilot Kombucha - Baron Mag

Alex Ingalls, owner/operator of Pilot Kombucha

Brooklyn | NYC | USA
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Alex Ingalls

Who are you and what is your background? 

Alex Ingalls, been working in Food & Beverage industry for 13 years

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Your current job: 

owner/operator of Pilot Kombucha

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 In which city: 

Brooklyn

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How did you discover kombucha? 

I was working at Whole Foods at the time, had had surgery to remove my gallbladder a couple years before and experiencing awful symptoms related to that paired with some heavy drinking (I was 25). A friend recommended kombucha as a hangover helper

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What prompted you to start your company? 

I had known for a couple years I wanted to start my own company but didn't really know what it would be. I was sharing kombucha with co-workers at the lunch counter I was working at and the head baker and head chef both separately encouraged me to pursue that as a business. 

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What makes your product unique? 

When we came out kombucha didn't have a very broad appeal, most of what was on the shelves was vinagr-y and had a bad image. Ours was the first in New York to have a really accessible, thirst quenching flavor profile. 

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What do you want to convey through your brand image? 

Playfulness and irreverence. We're not about changing our (or your) entire lifestyle in order to feel great & healthy. We know that's not viable for most people so we're really trying to provide a way for these hedonistic partiers and foodies in New York to make healthy choices that make sense for their lifestyle, whether it's as a hangover cure, cocktail mixer, or digestif after eating huge Instagram-worthy milkshake.

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What are the main challenges in your company?

Right now operations, we're almost growing too quickly to keep up with, so we're having to solve a lot of new problems as they come up. It's really just a constant game of catch up. 

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What tools are essential for your work(app, software)? 

Google sheets, Headspace, google forms. All google stuff really

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A word to define what type of worker you are: 

resilient

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What does your office space look like? 

My home office is cozy & eclectic, lots of souvenirs from traveling, multiple salt lamps, & filled with cookbooks. 

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Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work? 

I start every morning with a 15 minute meditation, then coffee & NYT crossword puzzle, then I make a list of tasks that aren't already in my planner and try to prioritize from there. 

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What tips would you give to improve productivity? 

Lists, reminders, small breaks, and mindful breathing

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What is the best advice you have been given? 

Whatever's happening right now won't be happening forever. If it's good, take a breather and make time to enjoy and appreciate it. If it's bad, remember it won't always be like that and things can be changed to prevent it in the future. 

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What are your end-of-day and early-day routine? 

Early day - see above. End of day - Yoga followed by kombucha cocktails on my stoop if it's warm, curled up on my couch if it's chilly

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Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without? 

I'm pretty low-tech. Everything I use is on my phone or computer. When there's a kombucha-making gadget tho it will be that!

upcoming products or projects? 

We're focusing on opening a tap room right now. It will be a lab so to speak, brewing experimental flavors on site for people to come taste and take fermentation workshops. We're also hoping to have a closed loop system and reuse a lot of our ingredients in other non-kombucha ferments. 

Pilotkombucha.com | Facebook.com/pilotkombucha