Crossroads Kombucha – Entrepreneurship Spotlight
Oct24

Crossroads Kombucha – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

  It started with a creative spark after trying kombucha tea. Robert Johnson has always been creative with a few Amazon best-selling books already under his belt. After trying to shake a soda habit, Johnson found this bubbly drink and decided to start-up something new in northeast Indiana. We caught up with Johnson to ask him all about this beverage and his growing business, Crossroads Kombucha, which is expanding in the coming months into a new space in Fort Wayne. So…what exactly is kombucha? Kombucha is non-alcoholic, fermented tea. That fermentation process makes it a health beverage. Within each bottle is about two billion probiotics, so a lot of people drink it for health reasons. What made you decide to open a business in northeast Indiana? Back when I was just a consumer of kombucha, I’d go to the store to find new brands and flavors I hadn’t tried yet. It didn’t take long for me to realize almost every brand was imported from either California or Oregon. I thought it was a shame, as Fort Wayne has such a great appreciation for local products, farmers and businesses. The idea to create Crossroads Kombucha – a great tasting, locally produced fermented tea company – hit me in early 2016, and I tried really hard to get it up and running before anyone else latched onto the idea, which would have happened sooner or later. If someone is trying kombucha for the first time, what flavors do you recommend? Newcomers tend to gravitate towards the fruity flavors – mango + strawberry is a good one – strawberry + basil is another good first choice. What would you say is the most unique flavor Crossroads Kombucha offers? We do cinnamon peach, which really literally tastes like peach pie. It has that very unique flavor for a drink. That’s one of my favorites. We’re about to launch lavender grape, which is also a unique combination of two flavors in one. Could you describe who is on your team? There’s really three of us – myself, my wife Yvonne and then our operations manager, Tom Brookshire. He’s really the business mind behind Crossroads. I’m the functional mind behind it. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? The greatest challenge by far has been meeting demand. We bypassed the standard farmers market route and went straight to retail in April 2016. Demand was so strong that we added 6 locations within the first two months as a business. Then, as word of mouth began to spread, we realized we had bitten off a bit more than we...

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