SPONSOR INTERVIEW: Health Ade Kombucha
Daina Trout is the CEO of Health-Ade Kombucha, which she co-founded in 2012 alongside her husband, Justin Trout, and best friend, Vanessa Dew. Daina received her BS from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Nutrition and Public Health from Tufts University, where she honed in on her philosophy that health has everything to do with one’s happiness, not just the science.
Health-Ade Kombucha came from the shared desire to do something entrepreneurial while bringing REAL food back to the commercial shelf. There lay the opportunity to turn Daina’s recipe for the best tasting and high-quality Kombucha into something one could buy. Health-Ade got its start brewed in a tiny apartment closet and sold at the local LA Farmers’ Market, and has quickly grown to be a nationally recognized brand that passionately supports the real food movement.
Daina’s enthusiasm and drive to make a difference speaks to the importance of the company’s tagline, “Follow Your Gut.” The story of Health-Ade is an ode to the belief that following your gut is integral on one’s journey to happiness and health. When not giving her heart and soul to Health-Ade, Daina can be found spending time with her other baby, Hendriks, while sipping on some Pomegranate Kombucha.
We spoke to Daina about the story of Health-Ade.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art (or craft)?
My background and passion has always been in food. While receiving my Master’s in Nutrition, I developed many of my own philosophies. I came to believe that health and wellness have more to do with one’s happiness than the science. It was here that I discovered my love for holistic and fermented foods, and developed my recipe for kombucha (now called Health-Ade!) After graduating and working in corporate America, overtime I realized that I needed to make my mark. I needed to do something challenging, BIG and disruptive. My partners Justin (husband) and Vanessa (best friend) felt the same way, so we started an
entrepreneur club. With only a few hundred bucks each to put toward the business, we came up with a ton of ideas that we just couldn’t capitalize on. Ironically enough, we would sip on my kombucha while we pondered the next endeavor.
Finally, we realized the answer was there beneath our noses the whole time–not only did we have a damn good kombucha, we had everything we would need to “give it a go” commercially: Daina, the kombucha brewer, was passionate about bringing REAL food back to the commercial shelf; Vanessa knew sales, and Justin knew marketing. We had what we needed.
We got our start a few weeks later at the Brentwood Farmers Market and sold out within the first hour. It was clear that Los Angeles was thirsty for a better tasting and higher quality kombucha–they were thirsty for Health-Ade! I wish I could say that the rest was history, but it wasn’t. It’s been both the most difficult and most rewarding thing we’ve ever done. We starting brewing in our tiny apt closet, and soon it became a full on brewery… Neighbors complained, credit cards were maxed out, and meetings had to take place in Justin’s Honda Civic (which doubled as a delivery vehicle). But all was good. Health-Ade was born out of the spirited desire to do something entrepreneurial–and it took a whole lot of heart, soul, and guts. The result–the best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy. It was then, it is now. It always will be.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
I absolutely think my environment feeds into my work. The goal at Health-Ade has always been to deliver the best tasting and highest quality Kombucha you can buy. We brew and ferment our Kombucha right here in Southern California, the old-fashioned way, and source as many ingredients as we can from this beautiful state. For example, for our “cold-pressed” line, we use only raw cold-pressed juice from organic product that mostly comes from Central California. Our favorite farmer–“papa Gene” from Etheridge farms in Dinuba, has set aside a number of pomegranate trees just for Health-Ade. We’ve made it a point to always support the real food movement in the community, so we really love our farmers.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
I’d have to say a bottle of Health-Ade Kombucha (my favorite flavor is Pomegranate), my water, and my iPhone. I don’t know where I’d be without it…