Outstanding American Manufacturing Small Business: Blue Ridge Bucha

( ♪♪♪ ) Kombucha, a fermented tea, cold,
carbonated, sweet, a little tangy. We infuse it with a variety
of different berries, herbs, roots to give a nice pallet
to each flavor that we have. Blue Ridge Bucha is a family-owned
certified organic kombucha company and we package our kombucha
in refillable bottles. 2010, we started dropping six packs
of kombucha into local refrigerators, collecting the bottles,
washing them and sending them out again. Another year later, we went into
more of a commercial route where we started bringing
our kombucha in kegs into local bars, restaurants
and independent grocery stores. Ethan has built almost every
piece of equipment we have in here. ETHAN: I have a background in building
but also in sustainable systems. So the opportunity to bring systems
together in a brand new field has been very exciting. KATE: Our tagline is, “Big flavor,
small footprint,” and that’s really central
to everything that we do. One thing that’s been really cool for us as the company’s founders is hearing stories from customers
about how, I remember to bring my bags “Now that I bring my bottles back to the store, or I remember to turn my lights off
before I leave the house.” In about a year, we should hit
the million bottles saved mark in terms of how many bottles have been saved by our customers refilling their bottles. Our SCORE mentor is Steve Cooper and he’s just been
an awesome advocate for us. When we have questions… We talked about devising
some kind of a spreadsheet which would show actuals as well as
what the forecast was for the future. within our company has been great. Just being able to more clearly see metrics Since we first started
working with Steve, our sales have more than
doubled in size and our team has more than
doubled in size. In five to ten years,
I would not be surprised if they’re one of the largest companies
in the Eastern Coast in making kombucha. When we are ourselves retired
from our business, I would love to be able to provide
that kind of guidance to others who are on the entrepreneurial journey. ( ♪♪♪ )

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