Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jared Gustafson, Co-Founder of Kombucha On Tap, located in Vista, CA, USA.

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

Operating in Southern California, Kombucha On Tap is a full-service distributor of kegged kombucha, cold brew coffee, tea, sparkling water, and more. From equipment, maintenance, installations, and product, we have you covered. We deliver to bars, restaurants, cafes, juice and smoothie shops, wellness centers, corporate offices, and people's homes! We serve all of San Diego, Orange, Riverside & Los Angeles Counties.

Tell us about yourself

In August 2013, my girlfriend, who is now my wife, introduced me to kombucha and saw it on tap at a few cafes in Bend, Oregon, when we were on holiday there. She had been drinking kombucha in bottles for a number of years but had never seen it on tap before. This got my mind thinking; I'd been thinking about starting a business and one that involved my active, healthy lifestyle. Kombucha On Tap seemed to be the perfect fit.

After starting it with only kombucha, we quickly added Cold Brew coffee, tea, sparkling water, and more beverages to the mix. By having a wide variety of products available, we're a one-stop shop for everyones On Tap station desires. What motivates me each day is my desire to provide our customers with the best customer service experience. I love being able to interact with customers and put smiles on their faces through our customer service experience.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my biggest accomplishments is starting a company that has grown to employ over ten employees to date. I get to provide a fun and fulfilling work environment for them.

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

You trade in your 40-hour-a-week job for an 80+ hour-a-week job. Entrepreneurship is full of sacrifices. When you keep your eye on the goals you set for the business; the sacrifices are worth it!

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

  1. When looking to start a business, find something you're curious about. Curiosity can have a longer-lasting appeal than something you're passionate about.
  2. Find someone running a similar company in a noncompeting area and ask them questions, see if they'll help you. It's human nature to want to help.
  3. Think about what you want to get out of the company. Where do you want to be with the company in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years? You can always adjust your goals, but having those goals is a good reminder of why you're running your own business when times are tough, and there will be tough times!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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