Who are you and what is your background?
We are Matt and Nat, a husband and wife team with a passion for kombucha, food, good company, and the great outdoors.
Matt is a self-proclaimed foodie and biohacker, and an Electrical Engineer currently working full time in his position.
Natalie is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a Personal Trainer, and a Lifestyle Photographer.
Matt Weiss is the Brewer and manages all brewing processes.
Natalie Surette does all Sales, Marketing, and delivery and manages our social media presence.
We brew kombucha in our brewery after hours and on weekends. With four children, it makes for a very busy week!
In which city:
Our brewery is located in Deep River, Ontario on the TransCanada Highway.
What prompted you to start your company?
We began fermenting years ago, first with beer and wine, and then moving on to yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. We traded some kefir grains for a kombucha SCOBY with a friend. The kombucha brewing experimentation began at home and quickly grew from one mason jar to 16 jars and then a large glass vessel for a continuous homebrew. As our SCOBYs grew, so did our love of kombucha. What started as a glass here and there, moved to brewing more, sharing more with friends and family and anyone who would try our brew.
One day, Matt said, “When I retire, I want to open a kombucha brewery”. Well the next day, Nat said, “Instead of waiting to start a kombucha brewery, why don’t we do it now”? And thus, Laurentian Brew Kombucha Company was born. Within the month, we registered our business and launched our kombucha at the first Deep River Farmers’ Market of the season in May of 2016.
What makes your product unique? What do you want to convey through your brand image?
We use whole ingredients for the infusions of our kombucha. We feel using the whole fruit and herbs imparts a flavor unique to our brew. We always use organic ingredients, local whenever possible. We collaborate with local businesses to combine our strengths and showcase each other's products.
What are the main challenges in your company?
Time management, since we have full-time jobs and commitments to other businesses, we need to organize our time wisely.
The challenge is always brewing enough kombucha to keep up with demand. Deliveries are a challenge as we are currently self-distributed and deliver from North Bay to Arnprior (note: we are hoping for Ottawa soon so that may change :)
What tools are essential for your work(app, software)?
Tools essential are a good quality kettle, versatile pump system, quality filling and capping equipment, a big wash station, and a large walk-in cooler. We also rely heavily on social media to boost sales and promote our product.
A word to define what type of worker you are:
Workaholics and Passionate Artists
What does your office space look like?
Our brewery is small but mighty. We have approximately 550 square feet plus a shipping container for storage. We have a temperature controlled fermentation room, a walk-in cooler, and a light industrial brewery.
Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?
Concurrent activities and task segmentation. We try to use different parts of the brewery simultaneously to get more done without getting in each other's way. So we use the same routines and organize them across different shifts or days to complement each other. With a hectic work and family schedule, our lives need to be pretty organized. Some days begin at 7 am and end past midnight.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
Focus on your most time-consuming task and find a way to speed it up. Throw out your assumptions and come up with novel solutions.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Grow at an affordable rate.
What are your end-of-day and early-day routine?
Mornings usually start with a high-quality coffee and our day jobs. During our after-hours brewery routine, we follow the schedule laid out by the fermentation process. We are either starting batches, finishing batches, or bottling batches.
Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without?
Upcoming products or projects?
Seasonal kombucha flavors are in the works, stay tuned to our website or FB for the latest.
We are currently in over 25 retail locations and are always looking to expand our market.
We enjoy participating in local events and will continue educating the public on the benefits of kombucha and other fermented foods. A healthy gut biome is essential for overall well-being.