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Cape Cod Kombucha

Cape Cod Kombucha

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Molly | Co-Founder, Co-Operator, Co-Brew Master I’m one half of the company. 

Amy | Ditto! Co-Founder, Co-Operator, Co-Brew Master, Co-SCOBY!

Who are you and what is your background? 

M- My name is Molly. I grew up in Virginia, went to college in Canada, and finally ended up in Cape Cod Massachusetts. I love good vibes, real people, hard workers, and giving good energy back to the world.  

A-I’m Amy. I grew up coming to the Cape my whole life. After I graduated college in 2007, and no one was hiring, I decided to spend one more Summer on the Cape. Earning money and getting a tan wasn’t a hard decision to make! I’m glad I did because I ended up staying and meeting the man that is today my husband. A few years later Molly moved to the Cape and we became friends, and a few years after that, she started making Kombucha and taught me how, and then…Cape Cod Kombucha!

Your current job:

M- I work many jobs including Making awesome kombucha. I do freelance graphic design. I teach Pilates and manage a local pilates and fitness studio. I am also a DJ, which I have been doing for 20 years now. And the best job I have: Mom of a little lady of 3 years old who LOVES kombucha!  

A- Besides Kombucha, I am also a Mortgage Originator at the oldest community bank on Cape Cod. My in-laws also own a couple of local small businesses that I help with a couple times a month.

 In which city:

M- Wellfleet, MA (it’s a town, not a city) – most of my jobs are done here. The DJ gigs happen mostly in Provincetown, MA during the summer months for that extra dough. Cha-CHING!!

A- We do Kombucha in Truro, MA. We are actually lucky enough to share a commercial kitchen space with my in-laws, at their cafe, Savory & Sweet Escape. My office for the bank is also in Truro.

How did you discover kombucha?

M- I found it for the first time in a small local grocery store in Wellfleet. Kombucha “Wonder” Drink in a can was my very first try. I was thinking… what’s this “wonder” drink all about? I wasn’t too impressed at first, however, I did try GT’s after and was HOOKED. 

A- I first read about kombucha when everyone said Lindsay Lohan was drinking this alcoholic tea and pretending to be sober…just being honest! Then I didn’t hear about it again until Molly started making it, and just the sight of it had me so intrigued. I love to cook and I had just stopped bartending and this was the perfect activity to satisfy both of those creative itches. She shared a SCOBY with me and there was no turning back from there.

What prompted you to start your company?

M- No one on Cape Cod was making local Kombucha. It was a good opportunity to introduce fermented tea to the already crunchy-surfer-organic loving community. No brainer.

A-What Molly said. Also, we were just having so much fun with flavor development, and experimenting with all of the variables to get the perfect (to us) brew. Our friends seemed to like it quite a bit, and people started asking us for it.

What makes your product unique?

M- We are a small batch craft – like REAL SMALL – (3 Gallon batches). Which means we give each of our batches all the special attention they need and deserve. At this point we are still a 2-Woman team only, doing everything from A to Z in the entire process.We put good vibes into our brew because we love what we make. We use local ingredients grown in our backyards, or in our neighborhoods. Wildcrafted local cranberries, beach plums, grapes, and berries are plentiful on Cape Cod, literally growing on the side of the roads. We try to source all things locally, first. We compost and recycle. We donate to relief funds. We put a lot of care and thought and love into our company, and it shows. 

A-Molly said it perfectly. Especially regarding the local ingredients. No other Kombucha brewery uses Truro Beach Plums or Provincetown Cranberries. No one gets to use the grapes from the Kielb family backyard in South Wellfleet to make ‘Fleet of the Concords. 

What do you want to convey through your brand image?

M- Healing starts from within.   

A- Cape Cod Kombucha. Cape Codders and our faithful Summer Residents and tourists alike know that the Cape is like a SCOBY. Whether or not everyone knows what a SCOBY is, they know that we are a symbiotic community. I like to think that we help promote that feeling, especially as we collaborate with our fellow makers and our environment. 

What are the main challenges in your company?

M- Supply and demand. Since we are only a 2 person crew, the demands that we are put through tend to put on the pressure mentally and physically. “Just hire some help” I heard someone say? – Not that easy when your product has to reach your own high standards. We are still in the first 5 years of business and would rather put that money towards supplies and events for now.

A- Yes, keeping up our supply in the busy Summer months can be pretty exhausting. We really want to make the jump to a larger, full-time brewery, but while we both continue to work other jobs, it remains a challenge.

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

M- Adobe Creative Cloud, Quickbooks

A- The good ol’ square reader is a life saver for all our events

A word to define what type of worker you are:

M- Diligent

A- Creative

What does your office space look like?

M- The office section of our business is located in my house.

A- Yes, we have a room in Molly’s home where we print our labels and keep the majority of our paperwork. It’s tough to have it separate from our product and kitchen, but luckily she and I live less than 5 minutes from each other, so that’s a nice convenience. 

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

M- We have a schedule that our brews are on, and we schedule our (other) work around the batches being done. At this point, we do not produce kombucha every day, so that we can work other jobs to support our families.

A- I think it’s probably easier for me because I work the majority of my non-kombucha hours at one job with a regular schedule, and so I can devote some of my evenings to production, etc. I definitely have many a Summer night where the candle is being burnt at both ends. Molly, up until recently, was working several smaller jobs with varying schedules, on top of motherhood. Sometimes I don’t know how we do it.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?

M- Planning, planning, and planning. Think about things that need to be done before the day(s) of bottling or brewing tea. Organize supplies so production doesn’t take as long, and keep things clean. Having the right equipment will also speed up production.

A- I will go ahead and come out with the other side of what Molly is talking about. Trial and error. Make note of what works and what doesn’t, but not just when you notice it. Keeping a detailed log, monitoring not only the PH and alcohol but daily temp readings as well. The more of your own research that you compile, the more you can tailor your end result. Once you have a good template, expanding becomes that much easier.

What is the best advice you have been given?

M- You are unique. Don’t compare yourself to anyone because we are all awesome and have something great to contribute to the planet and universe. Take it one day at a time. Celebrate the now.

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

M- End-of-day: review what’s coming up tomorrow, self-care, check-in with myself… maybe do a little energy work on me, or meditate – unplug.

M- Early-day: Coffee, workout, review goals

A- End-of-day: I am either finishing up a late night booch session, attending a professional function or TV and dinner with my husband, Will.

A-Early-day: I am not a morning person – never have been. I scramble out of the house as fast as I can, shamefully checking emails and social media on my short, straight drive to work.

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

M- My pH meter

A- Echo the PH meter. Oh, the capper is also a necessity!

upcoming products or projects?

M- We have a harvest market coming up next weekend and a Live Love Local Festival in December. We are working on building a website, and looking into new commercial spaces to expand and wholesale.

A- Yes, the biggest of those projects is to launch wholesale. That is our number one goal in the near future. | | |