Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melanie Styles, CEO of Cultured South, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Cultured South is Georgia's Fermentation Company built on the southern folk remedy of health and wellness. We aspire to become a leader in fermented and cultured foods in the south. We are the makers of Golda Kombucha, our primary product. We are hoping to spread the knowledge and awareness of how healthy fermented foods are for people through our tasty and refreshing food and drinks.

Tell us about yourself

We strive to be a household name when it comes to kombucha and fermented foods. We plan to increase our marketing to reach different demographics and areas of the southeastern U.S. We believe in starting from the ground up, with many marketing efforts being grassroots and organic. We hope to achieve the vision of being the brand that families look to when searching for raw, fermented, probiotic-rich foods.

Started in Atlanta in 2013, Golda Kombucha is Georgia's first and finest sparkling kombucha tea—a probiotic drink containing vitamins and live and active cultures to aid digestion, boost the immune system, and energize the body. All of Golda's kombucha flavors feature a fresh outlook on a traditional beverage from a Grandmother's recipe!

Golda Kombucha is more than a business venture to me—it's part of my family's history. My kombucha recipe and the culture used for fermentation were passed down from my grandmother Golda, the business' namesake. A testament to wellness, Golda lived to be 99-years-old. She brewed her unique kombucha for over 40 years and has perfected the recipe passed down to me.

After experimenting with profiles like lavender-lemonade and peach-ginger in my home kitchen in 2013, I was ready to bring my product to market. I debuted Golda Kombucha to the public at local farmers' markets and craft fairs around Georgia, soon finding that Atlantans couldn't get enough of my time-tested family recipe.

Each healthy, refreshing, and smooth drink from Golda Kombucha is inspired by a local fruit and herb pairing and layered with a green and black tea blend. Core flavors include Strawberry-Mint, Lavender-Lemonade, and Peach-Ginger, with seasonal offerings based on the availability of in-season produce that Golda Kombucha sources from local farmers.

To meet demand, Golda Kombucha recently doubled the size of our facility and has expanded into a brewery on the west side of Atlanta. The teas are available on tap, in ready-to-drink cans, and in growlers at dozens of restaurants, bars, and grocers throughout the Southeast.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building and operating Georgia's first kombucha taproom has been an inspiring and amazing accomplishment! The gratitude and support we receive every day from our community are what give me a reason to get out of bed each day. We have some really unique things to share in the immediate future, and we hope to unveil them soon!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Managing growth and scaling a manufactured product is definitely one of the hardest parts of owning this business. In recent times, employment and staffing have been a struggle. However, we are honored to have a loyal and dedicated brewery team that enjoys making delicious and probiotic-rich foods and drinks.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I would encourage new business owners to make sure they are calculating their numbers and documenting everything from the beginning. This allows for you to really understand the capabilities of your business and project the growth. Secondly, I would recommend having a great operations management team that can control the day-to-day while you focus on the big picture. Lastly, I would recommend working smarter, not harder, and integrating software and technology into your daily operations.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

At Cultured South, we have built our company on community. We are serious about supporting our local community and food system. We connect deeply with our community in a wide variety of arenas. We also value people, whether it be our customers or our workers. Everyone is welcome at Cultured South, and we are happy to employ a wide variety of backgrounds and demographics. Lastly, we stand for authenticity. We are Georgia's First and Finest kombucha company. We are leaders in our industry. We thrive on creativity, and we are always challenging ourselves to be authentic to the brand yet innovative in our category.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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