Lauren Miller and Olivia Wolff, UpDog Kombucha, Winston Salem, NC USA
Q: When do you first discover kombucha?
Lauren: I first discovered kombucha after a yoga class in 2010. One friends had been talking about it after class and offered me a sip of his. From then on, I started drinking after my yoga practice and was hooked!
Olivia: I first started drinking kombucha in 2009. I’ve always been a tea enthusiast, and I am also particularly attracted to package design. One day while in the super market, I came across kombucha and decided to try it!
Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?
We started our kombucha company after becoming successful home brewers. At first, we were making it in our dorm rooms at Wake Forest University and selling it to other students as a fun side hobby. We gained significant traction within the first few months and decided to form a company and move into a commercial kitchen. Our goal has been to offer delicious, small batch kombucha to the greater Winston-Salem community and contribute our enthusiasm for local and sustainable products.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? (a brand that is not your own)
Lauren: My favorite flavor of kombucha that is not my own is Living Ginger from Rowdy Mermaid kombucha based out of Boulder, Colorado. It is tart and effervescent with the perfect kick of ginger.
Olivia: I love Sway Home Brew by Kosmic Kombucha in Austin, TX. This flavor is lemongrass, lime, young coconut water, and local honey!
Q: What is your former/current other life or career?
Lauren: I am currently a senior at Wake Forest University majoring in Economics. I spend my time running UpDog, doing school work and leading outdoor trips for other students. I am looking forward to graduating in May and pursuing UpDog Kombucha full-time.
Olivia: I graduated from Wake Forest last May with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and French. I’m passionate about yoga, traveling, and dogs. This year, I have been living in Winston Salem pursuing UpDog full-time. One of my goals for next year (other than expanding UpDog) is to foster or adopt senior dogs from shelters.
Q: What is a saying that you live by?
Lauren: “It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Olivia: “Do not harm but take no shit” and “Five minutes early is ten minutes late.”