What began as a small production in a basement is now a start up business opening their own brick and mortar location. This is the dream for many small business owners, and Krazy Kombucha is showing entrepreneurs that growth and expansion is possible.
Krazy Kombucha started out in the original Catapult Kitchen in May of 2018 after Wendy Johnson purchased the business with hopes of obtaining permitting to sell at the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market. Now, less than three years later, Krazy Kombucha is opening their own brick and mortar store here in Lakeland with more than 20 different unique flavors and a merchandise line.
Wendy first discovered the health benefits of kombucha after buying from the Krazy Kombucha stand at the farmers market and she never looked back.
“As a nurse, I love holistic medicine and natural ways to help your body. Kombucha is a great way to help not only your gut, but your body as a whole. Every drop of kombucha is benefitting the customer, and that’s why I love what I do. That’s what makes my heart happy – I love helping others through natural solutions,” said Wendy.
At the time, Krazy Kombucha was owned by a local chiropractor who ended up taking a year long break from selling.
“I bought the business in 2017 to bring it back to our community not knowing anything about how to run a business, and that’s where Catapult came in,” said Wendy. The previous owner of Krazy Kombucha taught Wendy how to make the kombucha, getting them back to the point of being able to produce and sell at the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market.
“The goal was to get into Catapult so we could obtain the permitting to be in the kitchen, and produce our product to sell at the farmer’s market, and we met that goal in six months,” said Wendy.
The Krazy Kombucha team, Wendy, the owner, and AJ, a full time employee, were in the Catapult kitchen for nine months before moving into their first brick and mortar location: a shared space that eventually became Good Thyme.
Krazy Komucha stayed in that shared kitchen for two years before securing their own brick and mortar location in Lakeland on January 26, 2021. The new storefront will be a place where people can stop in to fill their cup with kombucha, or fill up their growlers to take home. They plan to open the store to the public with a grand opening in April of 2021.
“We will still be at the farmer’s market as well, it’s the place where we started. We have so much new foot traffic coming through at the farmer’s market, and we also love seeing our regulars,” said Wendy.
Both Wendy and AJ love creating new flavor combinations and they now have 20 to 25 flavors that rotate out seasonally. “I love those combinations of juicing real fruits, vegetables and herbs to create new flavors,” said Wendy.
“A lot of young people are coming to us saying that drinking kombucha is helping their anxiety. I never really realized how kombucha helps not only with inflammation and gut health, but also mentally,” said AJ.
As of right now, their startup is still a team of two. Wendy and AJ will run the new space, creating the product, and selling it to customers. They have plans to one day expand their team through interns and employees and look forward to serving customers in their new store.
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