Starting Up a Business, Kombucha-style
Kombucha. Heard of it? Everyone’s talking about it. It’s a delicious dose of liquid goodness for your gut. It can be sipped from the bottle, or even used as a mixer or alcohol-alternative in your favourite drink or cocktail. Versatile, eh? Available in three flavours (original, ginger and passion fruit), crazily good JARR Kombucha is low in sugar and contains beneficial acids, enzymes and antioxidants that help to aid digestion and support the immune system. After all, a happy and healthy gut supports a happy and healthy life. JARR Kombucha was established a few years ago, all thanks to a shared love for kombucha and a desire to start up a new, innovative business.
We caught up with Adam, who founded JARR Kombucha, and opened the first kombucha taproom in Europe in 2015. It’s clear that the shared passion between him and his friends was the driving force in starting up the company. “In January 2015, my friends Tom and Jess Seaton and Neil Hinchley, visited me at my home in Los Angeles. It was here, sat around the kitchen table drinking kombucha, that we discovered we all shared a passion for this amazing drink, and the idea was sparked to create a brand that challenged the norm and provided an alternative to artificially produced, sugary soft drinks. In fall of 2015, we opened the first kombucha taproom in Europe, offering our three flavours of kombucha on tap and in cocktails. In April 2016, we launched our first line of bottled kombucha into Harrods and have been honing our technique and spreading the word about kombucha ever since.”
Experience within your company’s chosen industry is particularly important in getting your start-up off the ground. So what skills and sector-specific experience does Adam have, and how did it help him get started with the JARR Kombucha venture? “Growing up in Los Angeles, the epicentre of the kombucha boom, I have always been clued up on the industry and passionate about kombucha as a product. Tom, Jess and Neil are also the founders of Crate, a successful craft brewery, bar and pizzeria based in East London. Collectively, they have a wealth of experience in brewing, logistics, sales, finance and brand-building. As we are all old friends, our synergy allowed us to create a combined vision and bring JARR to where it is today.”
If you’re curious to know more about the JARR Kombucha products, Adam explained more about their ingredients and flavours. “We currently offer three flavours (original, ginger and passion fruit) in two sizes (240ml and 480ml bottles). Our kombucha is made with four simple ingredients: tea, water, sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). We use two types of organic, single origin loose-leaf tea as the base. For flavour, we simply add organic, cold-pressed ginger juice or 100% passion fruit purée. Kombucha is only as good as the ingredients with which it’s brewed, and here at JARR we use the best ingredients we can find.”
Once a small start-up business and now a fully-fledged company stocked in hundreds of eateries and food shops, from Oxford to Brighton to Harrods and Selfridges, the JARR Kombucha story is one to be admired, but also one which we hope has inspired you, too! At FitFest Oxford in June, the JARR Kombucha team will be hosting kombucha-making demos. Make sure you join them and get involved!