First off, can you tell us about your background and your product?
Started in Atlanta in 2013, Golda Kombucha is Georgia’s first and finest sparkling kombucha tea—a probiotic drink containing vitamins with live and active cultures to aid digestion, boost the immune system and energize the body. All of Golda’s kombucha flavors feature a fresh Southern-grown fruit and herb pairing and are free from artificial flavors, coloring, and preservatives.
Golda Kombucha is more than a business venture to Melanie—it’s part of her family’s history. Melanie’s kombucha recipe and the culture used for fermentation were passed down from her grandmother Golda, the business’ namesake. A living testament to wellness, Golda is 95-years-old and resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She has been brewing her unique kombucha for over 40 years and has perfected the recipe passed down to Melanie.
How long did it take to build your initial prototype and how did you validate it?
After experimenting with profiles like lavender-lemonade and peach-ginger in her home kitchen in 2013, Melanie was ready to bring her product to market. She debuted Golda Kombucha to the public at local farmers markets and craft fairs around Georgia, soon finding that Atlantans couldn’t get enough of her time-tested family recipe. Melanie further explains that “It took me about a full year to develop the flavor, package, and components”
How did you feel getting your first paying customer?
“As soon as I got legal I was on shelves within a month or two”. Melanie tells Take the Bait. Since then, To meet demand, Golda Kombucha doubled the size of their facility and has expanded into a brewery on the East Side of Atlanta. Today, the smooth, earthy oak-aged teas are available on tap, in ready-to-drink bottles, and in growlers at dozens of restaurants, bars, and grocers throughout the Southeast, including in over 100 Kroger supermarkets, eight Whole Foods Markets, nine Central Market stores in Texas, and over 100 small stockists.
what worked and what didn't work when finding your first users?
“It has been a struggle to educate Georgians about Kombucha, but being the first kombucha company, this was our job and continues to be our job 4 years later!”
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to onboard their first users?
“Hire a good PR and marketing team and stick with them”. Melanie and her team went on to get promoted by New Netflix series Good Girl's leading women Mae Whitman and Christina Hendricks!
What resources have helped you in the early stages?
“Automation software, good employees, machinery”
How can people reach you and find out more?