Who are you and what is your background?
My name is Ally. I was a student studying writing when I started the kombuchery with my father, Dave. I teach partner dancing on the side and sometimes travel to Europe to teach at dance events.
Your current job:
Accounts & Promotions Manager
In which city:
Where does your interest in Kombucha come from?
My dad has been brewing it for 15 years, I grew up on it.
What prompted you to start your company?
My dad had the dream of starting a kombuchery after homebrewing for years, and we wanted to work together. He also owns his business as a general contractor, and so he couldn't start it by himself. He made a uniquely delicious brew, and I thought it would be great to share it with more people.
What makes your product unique?
We brew for longer and use a higher concentration of tea, so you get a substantive flavor that is bold and well-balanced.
What do you want to convey through your brand image?
Design: how was it designed? By who? With our brand we want to convey that we are a place-based, local product, that is made with simple, PNW locally-sourced ingredients. I designed the art on the labels, and I worked with Sam Bones Design to design the label and logo out of my art.
What are the main challenges in your company?
Money (when is it not? haha), and scaling up our production while maintaining the high-quality taste of our product.
What tools are essential for your work(app, software)?
A word to define what type of worker you are:
What does your office space look like?
Two desks, finally! We recently moved into a larger location, so we aren't stuck sharing a tiny rolling desk in the brew space.
Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?
I write a list of to-dos every morning. Anything that didn't get done the day before is first on the next day's list.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it immediately.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Every experience, whether it feels positive or negative, is always just an opportunity to learn.
Can you give us a tour of your local Kombucha scene?
Portland has a huge kombucha scene, our population consumes 78x more kombucha than any other city. Brew Dr. is the local big-time company, Lionheart, Soma, and Eva's Herbucha are in the middle, we're a bit smaller than them, and now there's a bunch of even smaller breweries that have popped up in the last 5 years. That's not everything, but it's an idea.
How do you control the growth of your company?
We keep great records of sales and costs, which helps to make goals.
What is your strategy for making your kombucha known? Why this strategy?
We started local, within our neighborhood. Now we're much bigger, and we focus events like street fairs and night markets, as well as demos in stores that carry us. Because in order to introduce people to a new delicious product, you need to get it into their hands (and in their bellies).
What are your end-of-day and early-day routine?
Morning is shower, dress, commute, make breakfast at the shop. End of the day varies every day depending on if I'm dancing or just having dinner with my housemate.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a Kombucha company?
Develop your product and your brand first. Do a lot of experiments. Design your logo and brand. Then look into the business part.
Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without?
Bluetooth speaker. I love having music on no matter what I'm doing.
Upcoming products or projects?
We're developing a proprietary flavor for a local grocery. It will come out in the summer!