Within five minutes of meeting me, GT Dave, creator of the wildly popular fermented probiotic beverage GT's Kombucha , tells me the story of his conception:. Late one night, his father rolled over and made love to his mother "in the lotus position, of all positions," he says. GT's meticulously coifed year-old mom, Laraine Dave, is sitting across from us in the living room of her hilltop home, a white modernist affair perched above a steep canyon in L. She grins and leans into the conversation, no sign of embarrassment. If he can tell that I fail to fully grasp the miracle, GT is unfazed. He's explaining how destiny has driven his success, even before he was born, and he's dead serious about it. His parents already had two sons that special night, he tells me, and didn't necessarily want a third. But one son, Justin, had a life-threatening heart condition.
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In , Laraine was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and a year of chemotherapy and radiation. Dave, who was taking business classes at Santa Monica College after leaving high school early and receiving his GED , began homebrewing kombucha himself with the intention to bring it to market. Dave was the first to put kombucha on store shelves. He continued to homebrew kombucha in his family home, which quickly outgrew the kitchen and expanded to the living room, and would sleep from 4 p. GT's Kombucha continued to grow and in December , when he was selling 30 to 50 cases per day, he rented a 2,square-foot industrial space in Gardena and began to hire employees. That was when Whole Foods Market called to inquire about distributing his kombucha.
With the typical discarded sports gear and left over snacks in a teenager's bedroom, one might not be surprised to find bacteria growing. But in the mid s, year-old George Thomas "GT" Dave, was purposely growing fermented bacteria in 5-gallon glass jugs around his room to brew his own kombucha — and it spawned a nearly billion-dollar business. Celebrities like Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Reese Witherspoon have reportedly been spotted drinking his kombucha. The U.
In-store sales have since rebounded, and the company is taking its first steps in the direct-to-consumer space. Even brands that are able to sell through ecomm have seen certain areas of their channels completely wiped out. But it definitely was a wild ride. To put it simply, it was an up, and then a down, and then a slow climb back up. The behavior of the consumer dramatically changed within March and April this year. People were panic buying, they were going to the stores less frequently and buying different kinds of foods in different packaging. There was a time where anything that was considered single serve, like our ounce bottle, was basically dead.