On this episode of The Foodpreneur, we’re talking Jun Kombucha, a honey-based fermented beverage, with Holly Lyman, founder of Wild Tonic. Learn about the story of how childhood summers up in North Pole, Alaska turned into a love for nature, art and fermentation – now bottled into Wild Tonic, the largest domestic producer of Jun Kombucha!
Visit them @ WildTonic.com
Time Stamped Show Notes
- [1:18] — At a young age, Holly was first introduced to art, cooking, and fermentation by her Grandmother in North Pole, Alaska. Holly’s Grandmother had a greenhouse/art studio where she grew fresh tomatoes.
- [4:02] — Holly didn’t ever think that she would be a Foodpreneur, her call and passion had always been art. Holly started off painting watercolor before she began painting with beeswax.
- [6:21] — The “Jung” culture to create kombucha is considered the “mother of all kombucha.”
- [7:46] — “Jung” kombucha has a lot more lactobacillus and higher micronutrients that derive from the honey it’s brewed with are an advantage of drinking Jung kombucha over regular kombucha.
- [9:12] — Originally, Holly and her husband bought brewing equipment to start a brewery. A couple years down the road they would use this same equipment not to brew beer, but to begin creating their own kombucha.
- [11:21] — Holly and her husband decided to move to Sedona, Arizona to be in an environment where they believed their product could be appreciated. After the move, Holly rented out a 3000 square foot space and bought out a local competitor.
- [12:35] — Holly started her business with money that she had put away.
- [13:47] — Holly shares with us why she is so inspired to help the “bee crisis” our world is no facing.
- [16:18] — Holly believes that food labels (organic, non-gmo, etc.) is a very important initiative that companies need to pay more attention to. Holly also describes her take on permaculture.
- [17:30] — Holly began selling her product at local stores and farmers markets before it expanded to Whole Foods through their “forager program.” After the Whole Foods deal, the door was open and Wild Tonic became available in many more top-end, popular grocery stores.
- [18:49] — Holly tells us about her new line of alcoholic kombucha.
- [21:46] — Holly describes the challenges of scaling her business.
- [23:10] — Holly’s newest project will be making hard ciders out of heirloom, nearly extinct apple varieties in an attempt to make an interesting product and save the apple type.
- [26:56] — Holly always has honey in her household at all times. Holly’s favorite honey is a wild Tasmanian honey. Holly’s last meal would be one of her sourdough pizzas. Holly’s idol is Sandor Katz, one of fermentations biggest proponents.