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HIGHLIGHTS OF COLORADANS

Interview with Rocky Mountain Soda

32nd Avenue Books:The first cold drinks we offered at 32nd Avenue Books, Toys & Gifts were sodas from Rocky Mountain Soda. I recall having been invited to tour their bottling facility in Denver. The operation was efficient and clean, and it was the first time I had ever seen anything like that.

We are happy to carry Rocky Mountain Soda, and thought it would be nice for our readers to hear a little about the folks who produce it. We wanted to know about their backgrounds, how their relationships and their business developed, and how soda became a major part of that story. Phil, Moose, and Drew are partners who operate Rocky Mountain Soda, and Drew is responding to our inquiry. Many thanks to Drew for his assistance. Visit  https://www.rockymountainsoda.com

Rocky Mountain Soda: First off, thank you for your continued support of our products. We love what you do and are happy to be a small part. 

As for our history, Moose and I started Rocky Mountain Soda over 11 years ago with the idea of making all natural cocktail mixers. Moose was part owner of Peach Street Distillers at the time and they were using supermarket sodas for mixers and we thought there had to be a better option. After some due diligence and a few more drinks, we decided to just give it a try and do it ourselves.That weekend, we bought a bottling line from the next door brewery and moved it over to a warehouse in Denver. Once we were up and running we brought on our first employee, Phil, who was another one of our best friends from Golden High School. With three Golden Boys, we thought we were ready to take on the world!

As for the love of soda, it runs deep in my family. When I was a little kid, my grandmother Goo-Goo used to take me out in the forest behind her farmhouse in Virginia and we would search for the 1, 2, 3 plant (sassafras). We would dig up the small ones that only had the first 3 sets of leaves (1,2,3) and we would boil the roots, add some sugar and make our own Root Beer. Fast forward 30 years and now Rocky Mountain Root Beer, based off those memories, is our flagship soda flavor and our best seller. 

Pertaining to our partnership, we are very fortunate to be lifelong friends. Moose, Phil and I know each other so well that most things can be left unsaid since we already know what the others will think. When we do get into fights, we are like brothers; we don't hold grudges and can get over things quickly. Having such good friends be your work partners is a great thing for us and we hope to never have it any other way...

Thanks again for taking the time to learn a little more about our company.

Cheers to the future, 

Drew

Interview with Chris of Kundali Kombucha

32nd Avenue Books: We recently discovered a delightful addition for our cold drink selection, so we thought it would be interesting to have its creator tell us a little about it. Thanks to Kris, who brews Kundali Kombucha, for taking the time to respond. Visit https://kundalikombucha.com/

32nd Avenue Books: Could you describe your background?

Kundali: I’ve been a cook most of my life. Being the first of 5 kids, I spent a lot of time cooking and baking with my mother. She always had something tasty cooking that made the house smell incredible! I think she instilled a love of good food and flavor in me at a young age. When I got older I had all kinds of jobs as a cook and honed in my skills and expanded my palate. Now cooking is not only something I do for my little family but it is also one of the ways in which I show my love to people. I would consider Kombucha brewing to be in the same category – a labor of love.

32nd Avenue Books: How did you decide to start brewing Kombucha?

Kundali: Well I was transitioning from one job to another back in 2013 and my brother sent me a SCOBY as a gift. I had stopped drinking alcohol and kombucha kind of came and took it’s place. I’d only just started drinking kombucha and didn’t quite know how it was made or what it even was. I also didn’t really like the way many of them tasted at the time, but I did like the way it made me feel. So I decided to give brewing it a shot! I knew I could make kombucha that actually tasted good and it turns out I was right. In those beginning years I was mostly experimenting with making my own juices and flavoring the kombucha with them. It wasn’t until about maybe 2016 when I met my partner Julia that we started experimenting with herbal blends. She definitely struck a new chord in me, inspiring a love of nature and growing things. 

32nd Avenue Books: Why did you decide to use herbal brews in the production of your Kombucha?

Kundali:There are many different kinds of herbs that have many different functions – as well as unique smells and flavors. Julia introduced me to many of them back when we were first getting together and we’ve been using them in various ways ever since. Our medicine cabinet is actually all herbs, roots, mushrooms and tinctures. The impact this relationship I’ve built with the earth and everything it provides has had a truly powerful effect on my daily life and I wanted to share that with other people. Putting the herbs in kombucha seemed like something unique that not many other brewers were doing too, so I wanted see if I could do it in a new way.

32nd Avenue Books: What makes Kundali Kombucha unique?

Kundali: The herbal blends we’ve come up with are totally unique, and I do my best to hold true to the authentic feel of true kombucha by letting it ferment sufficiently. This is a difficult thing to accomplish while still making it drinkable and delicious. The market is growing and there are tons of different style of kombucha now, but I feel Kundali stands out as a kombucha that you can rely on to taste good. We pride ourselves in being able to convert non-booch drinkers to kombucha advocates after trying ours just once. Most people who either haven’t tried kombucha or say they don’t like it drink ours and change their minds.

32nd Avenue Books: Do you plan to add more blends?

Kundali: Absolutely! We’re always experimenting and brainstorming ideas. I’m really excited about our next release, which has herbs that add to the already pro-digestive properties of kombucha. I’m also working on a special caffeine free flavor, a root beer flavor, and a mental clarity flavor. There are so many ideas that we plan to implement once we’re able to spend more time being creative. At this point in the business journey we have to put one foot in front of the other and take things slow, so we probably won’t be releasing our next flavor until next year.