Wayne Greenfield, Seattle Custom Beverage, Seattle, WA, USA
Q: When did you first discover kombucha?
I discovered kombucha about 3 years ago when I was having lunch with a client. He bought a kombucha with his meal. I tried a little and was intrigued by the sharp, sour taste. I remarked how it was kind of a cross between a soda, apple cider vinegar and wine. The winemaker and foodie in me was interested in learning more. Over the next several weeks, references to kombucha kept showing up all over the place. Then a friend gave me a growler to try. So I guess you could say that kombucha discovered me.
Q: Why did you start your own Kombucha company?
Several reasons: I want to be part of the kombucha (living foods) revolution to create amazing, great tasting kombucha for the world. I am committed to people’s health and well being, and I am committed to people enjoying what they eat and drink. Brewing a living-food like kombucha is an artistic, craft brewing adventure that satisfies my artistic and business desires.
I also wanted to create a business that my son was interested in, that he could see himself being involved with during vacations and after school ends. Sam is becoming as interested and capable as I am in creating quality kombucha.
Lastly, I see the kombucha category evolving into something similar to what wine or beer has become – a culinary adventure of many styles and flavors. Kombucha is relatively new commercially. It has a lot of potential for artistic expression, a lot of financial opportunity, and a lot of room for improvement in terms of consistency and quality. In 20 years, I believe that you will see several styles and flavors of kombucha that define the beverage – similar to the way wine has pinot gris, chardonnay and merlot; or beer has IPA, pilsner and stout. I believe there will also be several “grades” of kombucha similar to $3, $15 and $50+ bottles of wine.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha?
I have many favorites; including ginger, rose, apple, citrus hops, grapefruit, lavender and original!
Q: What is your former/current other life or career?
I am a serial entrepreneur. Previously I created an Internet startup where I built and ran an Internet service provider business for 15 years. Currently I am a Change Management Consultant, helping executives and companies manage important organizational transitions with power, freedom and ease.
Q: What is a saying that you live by?
“Try it. You might like it.”