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!

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