Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jared Englund, Founder and CEO of Lion Heart Kombucha, located in Portland, OR, USA.

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

Lion Heart Kombucha makes consistently excellent low-sugar kombucha in Portland, Oregon. We are the local's favorite in Portland and are supported by a community of long-time fans who are proud of what they drink. The big appeal of Lion Heart Kombucha is our low sugar recipe, but we also use only the best local and organic ingredients, have carefully crafted flavors that are well-balanced, and consistently perfect carbonation. People love that they can drink something healthy that makes them happy, made by a company that reflects their values.

Tell us about yourself

I have loved kombucha as an art since acquiring my first SCOBY in 2007. At that time, I was a school math teacher and soon started holding kombucha brewing classes in my home. In 2011 my bottled kombucha was selling well at local co-ops and got accepted at New Seasons Market, which had about ten stores back then, so I took a break from teaching to pursue kombucha full time. Lion Heart is now sold in many locations from Eugene to Seattle, as well as available nationwide through Azure Standard, an online platform for ordering quality food products.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It's great how much customers love our kombucha, and I'm proud that our products are such a positive part of people's lives. But what gives me an even greater sense of accomplishment is that we can offer quality jobs to our dedicated crew, who make this great kombucha with passion and pride.

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

One of the hardest parts of getting the business to where it is now was navigating regulations and permits. When I moved into our current facility 6 years ago, I had no idea how much time I'd have to spend at the city planning office and going back and forth with my architect, engineers, and inspectors. Navigating all that while running the business was my biggest challenge.

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

My advice to burgeoning entrepreneurs is that you are your brand. The energy of your product and the atmosphere of the work environment you create all depend on you being your best self. Self-care and strong personal connections are critical to maintain. Also, it is wise to seek coaching on how to structure and grow your business from someone with experience you can learn from.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I also offer business coaching and have helped a variety of companies at different growth stages. Feel free to reach out to me if you think I could assist you and your company's growth.

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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