Why kombucha companies close
When Shelley, the founder of All About the Booch, located in Glendale, Arizona, decided to close her business after five years, she did us all a favor by posting a series of Instagram Reels explaining why. These are useful lessons for many small business owners to consider. The reasons include:
Increased expenses would have required them to raise prices more than they thought the market could bear. These included:
- In 2015, glass bottles cost 33 cents; now, they cost 96 cents.
- Increases in insurance costs, fruit, and gas for their delivery van.
Their original plan was that Shelley would quit her job and work full-time in the business. However, she was promoted and decided to stay. Shelley and her husband worked 20-30 hours a week selling kombucha on top of their 40-hour day jobs. They also decided it was time to travel and enjoy vacations with their children.
In 2018, kombucha was still a foreign concept in their region. In the beginning, the challenge was building awareness. By 2019, sales had picked up, and they began servicing bars and offices and a professional football team. When the pandemic hit, many outlets closed..
To compensate for the loss of wholesale accounts, they went direct-to-consumer at farmers’ markets. Wholesale accounts have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and demand has been inconsistent. Some long-established accounts have closed.
Looking back, she can trace many of the issues that caused her to decide to close to the pandemic. She has heard from other small kombucha companies who faced the same challenges.
As of November, they are selling the commercial equipment they have in storage.
(Click on the links above to hear Shelley tell her story.)