Who are you and what is your background?
Lupa: I have been involving with different areas of diet for over 45 years, I have been greatly influenced by Ann Wigmore, as well as Dr. Weston A Price, and Dr. Nicholas Gonzales. Also very much by Dr. Natasha Campbell- McBride., and her book “Gut amp; Psychology Syndrome
Each of them realized the healing power of a nutrient-dense organic based diet. I am also a Naturopath, a mother, and wife as well as a teacher of traditional food prep classes.
Claire: I come from management and sales background which ranges from owning my own massage therapy practice to operating commercial properties.
Your current job:
Lupa: Along with, overseeing product development and quality control at Lupa’s Kitchen, I teach seminars on traditional methods of food prep from bone broths to a variety of cultured items.
Claire: My main focus at LK is keeping all parts moving forward from production, sales to ensuring relationships are maintained. I always tell people my mom is the fun one and I’m the one with the checklist. She is the yin to my yang.
In which city?
How did you discover kombucha?
Lupa: We were living in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica at the time when a friend from America sent a kombucha “scoby” in the mail and thought I might want to try making kombucha. This was back in the early 90’s. I did and our family loved it, so I kept making it. The climate of the mountains of JA was perfect for making kombucha.
When I started having extra, I used the kombucha, as a barter for produce at the local market. My neighbor Jamaicans loved it. They said it helps balance their blood sugar, and their knees did not hurt anymore after starting to drink kombucha. They loved it!
Claire: We grew up around Kombucha and other fermented items.
What prompted you to start your company?
Lupa: To create an organic line of food and probiotic based beverages that were prepared properly.,soaking, sprouting and culturing.quot; I wanted to offer people a quality choice for food/drink that would actually nourish them in positive ways and tasted great as well.
Claire: I was at a crossroads in my life and decided to see what we could do in a year. At that time LK was only at a couple of farmer’s market and local health food stores. In nutshell I wanted to bring my mother’s dream to fruition and provide a retirement option for my patents.
What makes your product unique?
Lupa: I have been brewing Kombucha and other fermented items since the 90’s so I have a strong knowledge base of what it is all about. A lot of kombucha on the market has a vinegar taste unlike Lupa’s Kitchen. We offer a mild universal kombucha that flows well with newbies and longtime fans.
Claire: In addition to what my mom said we have built our company on relationships and maintaining them.
What do you want to convey through your brand image?
Lupa: Our motto is Therapy Through Food and that is really what we want to convey. We keep it simple with good wholesome organic ingredients. Our labels are simple but grab your attention and that is what our kombucha is. Simple and Hands down universal in taste.
Claire: Our brand is about simplicity and keeping it real.
What are the main challenges in your company?
Lupa: The learning curve in expansion and maintaining a good bunch.
Claire: There is always something to learn and grow from, however, like many companies it’s keeping up with growth.
What tools are essential for your work (app, software)?
Lupa: Knowledge from the ground up on Kombucha. It is easy to brew tea however, the challenge comes in making a great tasting butch consistently.
Claire: Having a great team. I truly feel you are only as strong as the people next
A word to define what type of worker you are:
What does your office space look like?
Lupa: A fermentation Celebration! Our Commercial kitchen has lots of dehydrators, crooks for kraut, as well as big vats of kombucha brewing
Claire: My personal office is fairly crazy. I have been described as organized chaos.
Do you have a way to organize your days to optimize your work?
Lupa: Get up early, Follow through with list, think ahead in planning
Claire: I wake up around 5 am and on big production days closer to 3 am. This gives me time to look at me to do lists and fine-tune the game plan. Typically, on Sunday’s I begin this process.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
Lupa: Enjoy your work
Claire: Don’t assume everyone knows what you are talking about. Pay attention to your team especially on the production level. Also, take time for yourself as an owner. People have a misconception that since you are your own boss that there is more free time which is the opposite.
What is the best advice you have been given?
Lupa: eat organic
Claire: As a small business owner there are many days you are wondering how you will get through it especially in the beginning so remember its One foot in front of the other.
What are your end-of-day and early-day routine?
Lupa: Walk the dog and walk the dog
Claire: End of the day I have look at all upcoming invoices and stock for the next day of production. The Early morning routine typically involves a good cup of coffee and reading emails at home.
Apart from your computer and your phone, what gadget cannot you do without?
Claire: My coffee pot.
upcoming products or projects?
Lupa: New product – Golden Milk Paste
Claire: In 2018 we have a lot of fun things coming up from new fermented drinks and other cultured products. Lupa’s Kitchen is a Kombucha and Sprouted Foods Co so there is always a variety.