Have you ever wondered who’s behind the crafting and making of Camellia Grove Kombucha? Well, we sat down with our co-founders, Joe Mayol and Robert Deering, to ask them a few questions to get to know them a little bit better:
What made you want to make Kombucha?
Joe: I had been drinking it and casually making it at home for a couple of years, and my parents bought me this book called “The Art of Fermentation.” I was experimenting with pickling and fermenting at home, and through the book, learned that between 2008 and 2009, Kombucha sales quadrupled. I became fascinated with the idea of putting my own spin on Kombucha in this rapidly growing market.
Robert: I tasted a funky Kombucha in 1994 and thought it had great potential despite the taste because it was a non-alcoholic fermentation.
What flavor of Kombucha is your favorite?
Joe: I love the complexity of our Oolong Tea Kombucha.
Robert: I’m currently loving the Green.
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
Joe: I love a cup of coffee in the morning, but after that, I have to switch to tea.
Robert: Tea! I don’t drink coffee anymore because it gives me heartburn…
Where did you grow up?
Joe: Modesto, California
Robert: I was born and raised in Portland.
Where did you go to college?
Joe: The University of Oregon for my BFA in sculpture, and then to Oregon Culinary Institute for culinary school.
Robert: I graduated with a BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz, and I have an MS degree from the University of Washington. I also have an MS in Teaching from Pacific University.
What is your favorite book?
Joe: I have several favorites… I really like “The Confederacy of Dunces” for a good laugh, and also, Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.
Robert: One of the only books I’ve ever read twice is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
What is your favorite movie?
Joe: This may be a tie between Caddyshack and any of the early Star Wars movies.
Robert: Lawrence of Arabia.
What is your favorite sports team?
Joe: Oregon Ducks football
Robert: Timbers and Blazers – hard to choose.
Do you have any pets?
Joe: Yes, my girlfriend and I have two cats, Piggy and Zooey.
Robert: Yes, we have a Maine Coon named Malcolm.
Where do you like to sip on your Kombucha?
Joe: All day while we’re working in the brewery.
Robert: My front porch.
What is your favorite thing to do in Portland?
Joe: Trying new restaurants and bars.
Robert: I like to ride bikes through Portland’s wonderful neighborhoods.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Joe: I’m lucky to be surrounded by family and friends that inspire me to better myself on a daily basis… also, huge fan of Anthony Bourdain!
Robert: I’m a big fan of Linus Pauling.
If you had to pick an actor to play you in a movie, who would you choose?
Joe: I was dreading this one! I guess Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
Robert: Robert Redford or Harrison Ford, whoever is available.
We had so much fun sitting down with our co-founders, and we hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about them!