For Better Booch, the path to becoming a major national brand has been anything but overnight success. Founded in 2012 by musicians Ashleigh and Trey Lockerbie, Better Booch launched into Los Angeles-area farmers markets and over the next five years the Lockerbies bootstrapped their small, craft kombucha company by maintaining positive cash flow and reinvesting it back into the company. But in 2019, Better Booch saw its first institutional funding, a $2.5 million round led by Crush Ventures, the venture arm of music management firm Crush Music. The company also underwent a comprehensive rebrand, switching the packaging to tallboy cans and focusing on tea and botanical-forward flavors. At the end of 2020, the company now aims to become one of the top five -- if not top three -- kombucha brands in the country within the next 18 months. Quite a long way from the farmer’s market.
This past year, Better Booch has spread into the fast casual restaurant space through partnerships with healthy food chains like By Chloe and Veggie Grill. The brand partnered with Iris Nova to sell its cans through that company’s patented D2C text message ordering platform. Its retail presence has more than tripled and overall sales were up 120% in 2020 (the canned line alone was up 350%). Tapping its relationship with Crush, the company is poised to use the music industry to its advantage in the near future. Though the pandemic put a halt to planned partnerships with live music venues, Ashleigh Lockerbie vowed that Better Booch would be “back with a vengeance” next year. If “Top Three Kombucha Brand” is on the to-do list, then the vengeance may be something to behold.