Business: Grand Jun Beverage Company
Owner: Sarah Wood
What does the Grand Jun Beverage Company do?
Grand Jun Beverage Co is a fermented beverage manufacturing business. The first product is a Jun Kombucha. This is a fermented tea made with local Western Slope honey and organic green tea. It is a healthy carbonated beverage flavored with local fruit and herbs.
What inspired you to start this business?
I have struggled with my gut health since I was a kid. I started drinking kombucha as a way to aid in my digestion a few years back and quickly started seeing the positive effects. It also gave me a boost in immunity, mental clarity improved, and I found myself feeling more energized throughout the day.
When I started home brewing jun, I didn’t imagine starting a business doing it. Through some head injuries that changed my ability to work behind my computer all day, interest in bringing something of service to this community, gut health research, and encouragement from friends, I took a few steps in that direction and the momentum has continued.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been in a number of industries throughout my career from music to outdoor and non-profits to manufacturing as well as owning my own businesses in consulting and creative services. I enjoy learning new things and accumulating experiences and new skills.
Starting a beverage manufacturing business is providing all of the mental and physical challenges that I enjoy while leaning on my experiences in operations, business management, production, marketing, community building, service, tech, etc., while focusing on a local product.
Describe a typical day for you.
I’m not sure I have found “typical” yet. Recently it has been a combination of account outreach, construction projects, brewing, recipe formulation, and food safety planning. If I’m lucky, I get to hit a trail for a couple of hours to ride off the stress and get to bed before midnight. I love the hustle, just only wishing there were more hours in the day and my body and mind could operate on 4 hours sleep. Haha!
What brought you to the Business Incubator Program?
In my business management consulting at The Good Talk (thegoodtalk.biz), I speak about finding and utilizing the resources that we have around us. Usually, we have more than we realize, so focusing on identifying those resources is an important first step in a small business start-up. I have to walk my own talk, right!? When I came in to tour the facility and met some of the coaches and saw the spaces, I knew this was the best place to get this idea off the ground.
What are you hoping to gain from this program?
There are some obvious answers here as far as access to resources and space, but I think the thing I’m enthused about most, is the collaboration with other like-minded small business owners working in the local food industry.
While a solo founder is less likely to succeed than co-founders, I find that this community and staff at the Incubator really step into a pseudo co-founder role with encouragement and accountability, and the opportunities to collaborate with other food program tenants is exciting.
How can people get in touch with you?
You can also find me here at the Incubator where I’m hoping to open a tiny tasting room in May or June. I’ll be at the area farmers markets this summer, special events, and of course at our awesome local cafes, markets, and restaurant community.
About the Incubator Program
The Business Incubator Center offers an intensive, five-year business support program that accelerates the successful development of start-ups and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of industry-specific resources and services. Businesses accepted into the Incubator Program are housed on campus with direct access to business consultants and workshops, regular financial and business reviews, and networking opportunities.
Client companies extend to all types of industries, including manufacturing, service, and office space spread throughout the 35,000 square-foot mixed-use space on 46 acres right outside of downtown Grand Junction, Colorado.