Better-for-you booze? It may sound like an oxymoron, but a growing cohort of healthier alcoholic beverages have been finding a receptive audience in recent years. That’s certainly the case for Boochcraft, a three-year-old hard kombucha brand that’s made waves in its home market of Southern California.
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So far Ray Latif has created 151 blog entries.
In this episode, Patagonia Provisions managing director Birgit Cameron spoke about the origins and development of the brand, a food and beverage offshoot of outdoor apparel giant Patagonia. She also discussed the opportunities and challenges of being aligned with its parent company and why its uncommon innovation strategy is critical to its overarching mission.
As part of a wide-ranging interview, Mamma Chia founder/CEO Janie Hoffman spoke about the origins of her brand and how she created a foundation for its rapid ascent. She also discussed a painful lesson about hiring for experience versus cultural fit, explained her belief that “you can’t teach attitude” and why everyday happiness starts with a joyful spirit.
A trio of executives from investment and advisory firm First Beverage Group joined us for a discussion about its portfolio and investment philosophy and how they evaluate synergies with entrepreneurial brands. They also discussed which categories might be best suited to weather a potential downturn, and why CBD is not the only cannabis-based ingredient that’s caught their attention.
Nearly 20 years ago Jesse Laflamme came home from college to find his family’s egg brand, Pete and Gerry’s, on the precipice. Despite the urging of his parents to consider another career, he was committed to the brand and solving its problems. In this episode, Laflamme spoke about how the company not only got back on its feet, but also excelled beyond anyone’s expectations.
You might have put time, money, blood, sweat and tears into building your brand, but at the end of the day it doesn’t belong to you. That’s the perspective of Christian Krogstad and Thomas Mooney, the co-founders of Westward Whiskey, which helped establish the rapidly growing American single-malt whiskey category.
As part of a wide-ranging interview, John Bello discussed the creation and development of SoBe, the lifestyle brand that he co-founded and sold to PepsiCo for nearly $400 million. Bello explained how an era of “healthy hedonism” turned SoBe into a top-seller and why he now describes the products as “sugar water.” He also chronicled his career as a beverage executive and entrepreneur and spoke about his current role as the chairman of ginger-centric soda brand Reed’s.
August Vega, the founder and CEO of super-premium nut milk brand MALK, is a “go big or go home” kind of entrepreneur. In an interview included in this episode, she discussed the origins of the brand and why she envisioned MALK becoming a billion-dollar company from the outset. She also explained how MALK has maintained that focus and made strides toward her goal.
A serial beverage entrepreneur, Joe Heron’s third act is perhaps his most ambitious. Having founded and successfully sold two brands -- functional drink Nutrisoda and Crispin, a line of premium hard ciders -- Heron is now at the helm of Copper & Kings, a brandy-centric distillery. In our interview, Heron explained why “the number one characteristic of an entrepreneur is stupidity,” and why the company “behaves like an incumbent, not a challenger.”
In this episode, Chris Hollod, a venture capitalist focused on early-stage consumer brands, discussed his investment philosophy and why digital strategy is at the top of his list when evaluating brands. He also explained why he believes that his job requires him to not only to follow and facilitate innovation, but to predict it.