Taste a handcrafted, artisanal kombucha and meet the founders of this Lucky Elixir at The Brewkery, a kombucha brewery in the Northland.
Founded in 2015 by Amy Goldman and Sean Galloway, The Brewkery opened with a mission to make great tasting, handcrafted, artisanal kombucha that is local, healthy and sustainable. By tapping into the services of the Small Business & Technology Development Center, they were able to make key decisions to position their business for growth.
“Pretty much every step of starting this business has been a challenge and or investigation,” Goldman said. “But that’s what entrepreneurs do … they figure it out. And, we would not change this busy, hectic rewarding and satisfying life for anything. Ultimately, to own your own business, you have to be really self-motivated and determined. There are highs and lows, but we truly appreciate every little ‘high’ as they come.”
In April 2016, the duo launched a line of bottled kombucha distributed under the brand name Lucky Elixir. The flavored, non-alcoholic fermented tea is now on tap and in bottles in core flavors of Hop’d Peach, Ginger Lime, Mango and Berry Blend and limited-edition, seasonal and experimental flavors. Distributors ship their beverages to more than 65 grocery stores, health food shops and retail boutiques throughout greater Kansas City, MO and to St. Joseph, Columbia, Kirksville and Jefferson City in Missouri; Lincoln and Omaha in Nebraska and to Lawrence in Kansas.
In the beginning, The Brewkery leased space out of a midtown food manufacturing kitchen to produce its startup beverage line. In June 2017, the owners moved to a new 3,400 square-foot Northtown space at 1443 Swift Avenue, North Kansas City, MO. The new space gave them the capacity to build a production facility for brewing, fermentation room, cold storage room, office and retail lounge all under one roof. The kombucha taproom opened in February 2018 with 12 taps and offers customers an efficient, eco-friendly, refillable growler option.
Like many businesses, The Brewkery had its startup challenges – from sourcing glass bottles to finding the perfect manufacturing/retail space. Throughout the process, they have accessed the resources of the Small Business & Technology Development Center and continue to receive business assistance from Jill Hathaway, SBTDC business development consultant. The owners also enrolled in the ELEVATIONLAB New Venture Class taught by Rebecca Gubbels, SBTDC business and program development consultant. This fast-paced, interactive class helps aspiring entrepreneurs with step-by-step planning for their business startup.
“The one piece of advice I remember specifically is to start small,” said Goldman. “Find somewhere to test your idea before you go all in with brick and mortar and bank loans. This is why we started vending at a farmers market and by the end of the summer, we had completely changed the focus of our business.”
Goldman’s advice for other new business owners: “Being open and responsive to change is imperative.”
Amy Goldman & Sean Galloway, Owners
1443 Swift Avenue, North Kansas City, MO