Episode 32: Building a Competitive Business in the Healthy Beverage Industry With John S. Lee

Today’s featured guest is John Lee. John is the co-founder of Capital Kombucha, which is Washington D.C.’s first kombucha brewery. He founded the company with two classmates from GW’s business school in 2012. Prior to business school, John worked as a structural engineer, which was a far cry from the world of healthy beverages. John and his co-founders identified a market in D.C. for the fermented sweetened tea drink that’s believed to support a healthy gut and strong immune system. 

Unlike the West Coast, which is saturated with these types of health and wellness beverages, D.C. was pretty low on kombucha offerings, yet had a very active, health-conscious population. So Capital Kombucha was born and they began selling their drinks at local markets before expanding to larger retail outlets, like Whole Foods and Safeway. Today they distribute to hundreds of locations from Virginia to New York, all along the mid-Atlantic. 


Listen to the Show:

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The three things everyone should know about kombucha and building a business in the beverage industry.
  • The costs and challenges faced when you have a product that is not shelf-stable.
  • How to be competitive in the beverage industry and have your product stand out.
  • Implementing a just-in-time inventory system when you do not yet have baseline data.
  • Future trends in the beverage industry and how to leverage partnerships. 
  • How to avoid burnout by taking a step back from your business to get a new perspective.

Featured On The Show:

BOOST Bonus:  5 Facts That Will Convince You To Actually Care About Your Gut Bacteria

The Sponsor For Today’s Episode:

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