We Started A Business!
Well this post sure has been a long time in the making. In fact, we started a business a year ago! There is so much that I could go on and on about the why and the how and all of that, but – for today, at least – I’m going to offer the condensed version.
Just around a year ago this month, Casey and I started talking about the possibility of starting our own company. It has always been a dream – to partner together to build a product or company that fit our passions and interests. Of course, turning that dream into a reality is a whole other matter.
Casey was traveling for work more and more, and it was becoming a big strain on all of us. He felt really unhealthy – spending almost all of his time sitting on airplanes or in meetings, or glued to his desk. Health and fitness are really important to him, and he felt more and more conflicted that his work life was really inhibiting his ability to stay active, and he worried about the long-term implications of his lifestyle.
On top of that, there was the obvious stress of being away from family so much. There were many other (private) factors we had to consider, but the bottom line was that we were all craving a big change. In the meantime, Casey was continuing to home-brew kombucha for our family, and always got rave reviews from any friends or family who gave it a taste.
One of the reasons we had started home-brewing in the first place was that, more and more, we noticed that many popular kombuchas were becoming almost juice-like – with so many added flavors and sweeteners. We always preferred the refreshing, crispness of our simple homebrew.
And we’d noticed for years that despite big brands of kombucha coming out of cities all over Oregon and Washington, Seattle lacked a significant local presence in the market. That’s not to say that the customers weren’t there – kombucha is everywhere out here in the Pacific Northwest! But there was no “Seattle brand” – and if Seattle-ites love one thing, it is anything LOCAL.
So why not us?
Of course it sounded completely absurd at the time. And it didn’t happen overnight – not even close. There were a million decisions to be made (Bottles, caps, logos, labels – you can’t even imagine!), logistics to work out, and very very slow transitions into making a possibility into a reality. The only way to describe it is a very, very big leap of faith.
But in August 2015 – about seven months after the inception of the idea – Puget Sound Kombucha Co. hit the market.
Through the mighty power of Google, some of you figured this out a long time ago! And I know a few of you have been frustrated that I’ve waited so long to share this news. I assure you, it was never my intention to be secretive. But I hope you can appreciate that this is a very real, very legit business. And like any business, you wait to promote yourself until you are up and running and ready for customers!
And now, we are most definitely up and running and running and running. The response here in Seattle has been amazing – which of course we hoped for, but it’s a whole other thing to see your dreams come to life. As of today, we are currently available for sale at the following:
- All Washington state Whole Foods stores (7 locations)
- All Caffe Ladro coffee bars (15 locations)
- Chuck’s Hop Shop (2 locations)
- Central Co-op (2 locations)
- Montlake Boulevard Market
- Midnight Mart
- hauteyoga Queen Anne
- Lish Food meal delivery service
- Full Circle Farm CSA
- Magnolia Farmers Market (June – September)
- and more and more stores being added each week!
On the menu board at Caffe Ladro in Fremont!
You can check out the Find Us page on our website to get details on specific locations. For local Seattle-area readers, we plan to add online ordering (and local delivery) in the next few weeks, so stay tuned! And for non-local kombucha lovers, we will likely have shirts and merchandise available for order in the coming months as well – I will keep you posted!
So let me tell you about our kombucha! It’s clean and incredibly refreshing – not too sour, and definitely not too sweet. We have three distinct flavors – Earl Grey blend, Green Tea blend, and Black & White blend. And for anyone who has tried kombucha and not liked it, I highly encourage you give ours a chance if you are in the area. It lacks the strong-vinegar taste that some others have, and the flavors of the tea really shine.
The most popular flavor is Earl Grey, but my personal favorite is the Green Tea – I do a happy dance every time Casey brings a keg of it home. And yes, we have a kegerator with kombucha flowing on tap in our home office <— perks of the job!
We have a brewery in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, a tiny former-coffee shop that works perfectly for now, although we hope to outgrow it eventually. Casey has made use of every square inch, and it’s a pretty impressive operation! To read more about the space and how we got started, here’s a piece that was written about us back in November on Seattle Refined.
Casey is the master brewer – he brews, he bottles, he kegs – he really does it all. There have certainly been bumps in the road along this journey, and moments where I’ve questioned his sanity, but I cannot tell you how proud I am of Casey for having a dream and for making it happen. A lot of people doubted him, but he never doubted himself, and I really believe that’s a big part of why we are where we are today. He works harder than anyone I know, and he is infinitely happier now, which is truly priceless.
And while my role is much more behind the scenes, I like to think it’s still pretty important! I do all our social media, a lot of our email communication, lots of sales pitches, occasional bottling, and I label every single bottle that goes out the door. This past Sunday, I labeled over 1,000 bottles while I watched the Seahawks lose (sob).
I apologize that this space went a bit on the back burner while our efforts were on building our business, and that I wasn’t able to be a bit more upfront about it at the time. Now that we’re officially on the market, I’m planning to keep you guys posted on all things kombucha as the business continues to change and grow.
Thanks so much for all your support through our family’s many wild adventures and changes – we are so excited to see what the future brings.
This post is sponsored by Puget Sound Kombucha Co. Just kidding.