Who are you and what is your background?
We are Scott and Cassie Pierce. Scott managed a commercial paint store while Cassie taught yoga in Greensboro, NC. In 2011, feeling that a paradigm shift was coming our way, we quit our jobs, sold our home and headed for a plateau within the Blue Ridge Mountains called Floyd, Virginia.
Your current job:
Scott is Head Brewer and Cassie is Creative Director of Buffalo Mountain Kombucha.
In which city:
How did you discover kombucha?
Always advocates for clean eating, we kept up to speed on health-related research. When studies began to get published about gut health and it’s relation to overall well being – we dove in. As big fans of getting our nutrition from food vs supplements, we were initially attracted to kombucha for its probiotics.
What prompted you to start your company?
Growing our own food was a grand experiment and fermenting kombucha was taking it to the next level. We’d grown accustomed to store-bought kombucha and couldn’t believe our taste buds when we tasted our own brew! Sitting around our farmhouse kitchen one night, Cassie uttered the words: “Let’s start a kombuchery!”
That declaration shot out into the Universe like a laser beam and all of the days that followed framed the groundwork for Buffalo Mountain Kombucha. Named for the buffalo shaped mountain we live in the shadow of, our creation took off from the get-go. Putting our love and light into every batch of our handcrafted kombucha is effortless: We believe in our kombucha and its healing potential.
What makes your product unique?
Traditionally, kombucha is brewed with black or green teas. We use yerba mate – it contains more antioxidants than any other tea!
What do you want to convey through your brand image?
We love the folk art flavor of our logo – it helps convey the image that our company is a small, microbrewery created by folks who love what they do and care for their customers as their community.
What are the main challenges in your company?
We’ve always maintained slow growth when it comes to scaling up our company – taking care to never take on more than we can handle. That being said, it seems like once a year we find ourselves needing to expand the business to meet market demand, and with that comes growing pains: more space, more employees, and of course, more cash flow.
What tools are essential for your work(app, software)?
We definitely make good use of Quickbooks for invoicing and billing. We’ve also had a lot of success with their LivePlan for creating business plans.
A word to define what type of worker you are:
What does your office space look like?
Our office space is out of our home: a 30 ft yurt at the base of Buffalo Mountain. 12. Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?
As a husband/wife team – we have the unique ability to have constant communication with our business! The following day’s agenda is discussed before dinner, as we try to maintain a business-free conversation in the nighttime hours – a time we reserve for family connection.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
We obsessively use our iPhone calendars to write everything down. Our minds can run a mile a minute, if we don’t write it down, it can get lost in the shuffle! 14. What is the best advice you have been given?
In relation to the business competition: Rising tides float all boats. In other words, competition is a good thing!
What are your end-of-day and early-day routine?
End of a day routine at the kombuchery includes going over the following day’s expectations with our employees and taking count of kombucha stock and orders. At night, spending time with our teenagers and pets in the home that we built by hand, our sacred space, is our priority. Early day at the kombuchery finds Scott filling the kettles to brew as employees file in to begin the bottling process. Cassie can be found at the home office collecting orders, planning delivery routes and making sales call.
Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without?
Our Prius – we save precious miles on gasoline as we tear up these mountains roads for sales and delivery!
upcoming products or projects?
Another expansion! TBD…