We had the good fortune of connecting with Todd and Tracy Sallee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Todd and Tracy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
“Wow! How can something that taste this great be good for you!” FTC Kombucha was created to share with others. See our son was sick and he needed probiotics to help absorb nutrients in food. Kombucha back then was vinegary and difficult to get a kid to take. We would take it like medicine because the probiotics in Kombucha were gentler in the gut. Growing to love Kombucha we filled our grocery cart full of different brands. That’s when I realized I need to learn to make it! We needed a SCOBY. (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) So we purchased several commercial scobies, even got one from Tibet. After 6 months of trying to get them to grow they were all struggling. Then one day, my husband Todd offered to feed them for me. I gave him the sweet tea and told him to give it to the “babies”. He put all of them in one jar! What?! A disaster that became a miracle! A vigorous new SCOBY grew and is now the “ Mother” to all of our FTC Kombucha’s. Our first batch was delicious and made us feel great! Looking at the city lights, we realized there were people out there that could benefit from our sparkling functional tea. Starting a beverage business is challenging. We were the first Kombucha manufacturer in Arizona, so we had to chart out and convince our local health department that our RAW beverage is safe for the public. I am proud to say we have only received Excellent ratings From all health inspectors. One of our happiest days was hanging our Business License on the wall! What sets us apart from other brands is that we flavor using only tea blends and cactus fruit from the local Sonoran Desert. Our customers rave that our kombucha is refreshing and goes down easy. Kids love it! Prickly pear kombucha is our number one seller. We also have FTC Kombucha CBD! While at the farmers market one Cold morning our friend Grammy had a swollen elbow from falling on it. She said this new oil called CBD was helping. Todd was inspired to try some in our kombucha. Oil and water don’t mix and CBD was so new It was hard to find water soluble. One company was experimenting with it in their labs and offered to let us try it in our kombucha. It worked great for people. We realized that Hemp CBD and Kombucha are synergistic. Thats when we started to pursue a Patent. The joy of FTC kombucha is that we get to work together as a family. The inspiration comes from testimonies of how our product has made a difference in peoples health.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Food and Beverage is Art! Creating New Kombucha Tea is a beautiful thing. Experimenting with different tea blends is a fun process that includes the feedback from our customers. We love our customers! Manufacturing takes skill from Our HVAC guy Todd. He keeps it Chill! Kombucha takes time, up to a month to ferment. Calculating future demand and growth while maintaining shelf stability is a constant challenge. You know when you get an FTC Kombucha it is fresh!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
The Sonoran Desert Museum It’s a botanical garden and wild life exhibit of the Sonoran Desert. Learn about life in the Desert. Get a coffee at Barrista Del Barrio.-try a horchata iced latte. Lunch at Goodness-Best salad spot with FTC Kombucha Dinner at Charrovida.-Tasty Mexican Cuisine with a Healthy twist(get FTC Kombucha too) Sunset toast with FTC Kombucha at Gates Pass.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We are the T’s that make Tea! Both of our Son’s Tad and Trenton Sallee continue to dedicate and encourage us to grow and try new things. They have both tasted entrepreneurship and have started their own companies. Both are U of A graduates. TS Wedding Cinema is owned by Tad. Driven Foods Distribution is owned by Trenton.
Tad Sallee TS Wedding Cinema
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