October 19, 2018
Fairport Brewing up a new Beverage
When I released our Timbucha beverage in January of 2016, I wasn’t thinking big. I had two twenty gallon tanks, I was thinking this could be my pet project. I was wondering what we could do with this beverage of goodness, and if I could make something happen using what we had, like bartenders and a killer location.
Like every sales organization, we needed training and incentives, so I trained the staff and gave them incentives in the form of contests to see who could sell the most. It worked. They talked about the product, they sampled it and they sold it. Some bartenders were so much better than others. I guess in sales they call that the 80/20 rule.
Picking up Steam
The beginning of 2015 no one really knew what kombucha was around here. By the end of 2016, I was talking with Wegmans and one of their largest distributors. I remember asking the president of the distribution company to take it easy on us because we were a small company growing organically. I think he took pity on us and kinda agreed.
By the end of 2016, we had some really cool designs on our bottles and Timbucha was one of the hottest selling categories at the Fairport Brewing Company, it was outselling a lot of beer. It was also performing really well at places like Lori’s Natural Foods, and the Village Bakery and many other locations. Wegmans was coming on board in 2017 and we were just trying to figure it out the efficiencies. I figured, with my background in the medical device industry (selling) and experiences with the Fairport Brewing Company there wasn’t anything we couldn’t figure out if we just think our way through it. I have to say, we have been fortunate to have so many people, good people who have helped us out. They say no one is an island, and I agree.
In preparation for 2017, my collection of Italian stainless steel vats had grown from two to sixteen, with the last four literally coming in from a friends basement, we were running out of room, but we were determined to meet the demand, so we worked seven days a week in anticipation of the new business coming on board.
As a commissioned sales guy, I was, no, I am always nervous about where the next sale is coming from, especially if it’s Wegmans. So we bulked up our supplies in anticipation.
Growing the Timbucha Brand
As 2017 progressed, we started training more brand ambassadors and doing more tastings at our accounts to support our product. It is a simple product, yet it’s extremely complex. I always compare it to beer. Beer is made with four ingredients, and kombucha has three. Beer is fermented with yeast, and kombucha is fermented with bacteria and yeast, you know that symbiotic culture.
I sincerely hope you enjoy our products from the inside out! Here’s to all of our health.