Business

College graduate quits full-time job and uses $1,500 savings to build successful business selling healthy teas

HEALTHY PROFIT: Leslie Crews

HEALTHY PROFIT: Leslie Crews

A COLLEGE graduate used her $1,500 savings to produce probiotic tea has gone on to triple her revenue in just three years.

Leslie Crews began making kombucha tea, which is believed to help with digestion and mood, in her Virginia Beach townhouse in 2010.

With $1,500 from her savings account, Leslie quit her full-time job, rented space in a commercial kitchen, purchased bottles and ingredients, and started selling Kombuchick at Norfolk’s Five Points Community Farm Market.

Her sophisticated flavours—chai stout, chai light, jasmine light, hibiscus haze—attracted a lot of attention.

“People treated it like a bar, hanging out and asking me to pop a bottle while we talked. We even had people starting tabs and leaving gratuities,” Leslie told Entrepreneur.

The young entrepreneur decided to embrace the idea and turned the booth into Kombuchick Bar, serving pints of kombucha and kombucha-based nonalcoholic cocktails.

In 2013, a friend invited Crews to serve her kombucha mocktails at a corporate event. That led her to launch a catering division of the business to serve kombucha at weddings and other events.

In the same year, she went onto win SCORE Foundation Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award.

Leslie’s revenue in the first quarter of 2014 was triple the revenue of the last two quarters of 2013 and her business continues to grow.

A bottle of Kombuchick sells for $4; mocktails cost $5 at Kombuchick Bar and private events.

Kombuchick, which Leslie bottles by hand, manufactures 300 bottles of kombucha per week.

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