Video: Expo West 2014 – Health-Ade Adds Kombucha Vet as Operations Chief, Ramps Up Production

Three months removed from its victory in BevNET’s New Beverage Showdown 6, Health-Ade has made a number of significant strides toward growth with the launch of new production facility, a key hire and expanded distribution of its kombucha drinks.

Following an October round of funding from First Beverage Ventures, which is an equity investor in the company, Health-Ade recently moved in a new office and manufacturing facility in Van Nuys, Calif. where co-founders Daina Trout, Justin Trout and Vanessa Dew have gradually begun to scale up production, aided by the arrival of a new operations chief with deep and high-level experience in kombucha production.

Ramon Canek, joined Health-Ade following his departure as the COO/VP of operations for Millennium Products, the producer of GT’s Kombucha. Canek spent 10 years with GT’s, the dominant brand in the kombucha category, and joined Health-Ade earlier this year with a mandate to refine and enhance production of Health-Ade’s kombucha, while maintaining the flavor profile and high quality standards that its founders proactively guard. Balancing the desire to scale while maintaining consistent quality is a certainly a tall task considering the very delicate nature of kombucha production, however, Canek has help from Health-Ade’s founders who insist on tasting each individual 2.5 gallon batch — a time-consuming, yet necessary process, according to Daina Trout.

In this video, filmed at Heath-Ade’s booth at Natural Products Expo West 2014, BevNET CEO John Craven speaks with Daina Trout about the company’s frugal deployment of capital, its production strategy and why an increase in manufacturing requires a slow and steady approach. Trout also discusses the target market for Health-Ade, why the kombucha category can pull from other beverage segments and new distribution of its beverages.