Starting Out: Cruz Kombucha, Northern California

This is the second in the series of Booch News posts telling the stories behind new commercial kombucha brands. The inspiration for ‘Starting Out’ was NPR’s ‘How I Built This‘. Every kombucha company launched their brand in a unique way, and their story has lessons for us all.

Tracy Desmond fell in love with kombucha after visiting the long-established Maui Kombucha Taproom while on vacation in Hawaii. She brews her kombucha in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley, and sells at farmers markets in nearby Los Altos as well as over the hill in the coastal town of Santa Cruz.

Tracy launched Cruz Kombucha in April of this year, the same month as the KBI Kombucha Conference which she attended as a ‘Brewery in Progress’. While initially unsure what to expect at the event, she was impressed by the presentations, workshops, and networking with other attendees. Her dream is to have a taproom of her own, and is meanwhile building out a network of commercial accounts at cafes, bars, and restaurants that carry her kombucha on tap as well as in bottles.


Cruz kombucha is available in a wide range of flavors with quirky Northern California names, ranging from Coastal Zest and Redwood Raspberry to the more unusual Mycologic – and blend of organic mushrooms including Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and sage. Sage is also featured in the popular Scarborough Fair flavor, which fans of Simon & Garfunkel should have no difficulty in guessing the three other ingredients. They use high-quality, organic and locally sourced ingredients, with seasonal flavors using local in-season produce.


To hear Tracy discuss her decision to launch as well as plans for the future, check out the podcast.

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