We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanner and Cassie Gifford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tanner and Cassie, how do you think about risk?
I feel like our thoughts about risk is ever evolving especially in the current state of the world. Growing up we have always taken the safe route. We both went into careers in software engineering and medical. They were both careers paths that have a pretty safe track record. As most people do we always talked about own our own business but never thought it would actually start, mostly secondary to the risk association. I could probably still say that but in starting a business there is clearly a need to take a risk. The risks in business, for us have somewhat build up over the life of the business. I think now when it comes to risk, we have to play the risk benefit game. I can’t say we are high risk takers but moderate for sure. Taking a risk to start a brewery was a huge decision that could potentially effect every aspect of our lives. And then you add on the risk of opening a brewery in the middle of a pandemic. That is just the cherry on top. I think one of the biggest things we have learned in risk taking is you always have to be prepared to make adjustments. It never plays out how you want it to but you roll with the punches, adjust, reorganize and move on. It has also been one of the most rewarding things to do in our lives. Even in the moments the risk did not work out as planned we learned so much which has allowed us to grow as business owners in a positive way. In both success and failure it has been the most rewarding journey thus far.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are a nano brewery in the small town of Mead Colorado. Our adventure started out in 2017 with Kombucha. Since moving to colorado I was unable to find a kombucha similar to what I was accustomed to. I had been brewing my own for a while and decided to play with it and flavors, hand it out to friends for reviews. It was a hit! We decided to try and license it for sale with the goal of having it offered at local breweries. Our first year in colorado I was pregnant and my husband wanted to explore the local craft beer scene. I am not a soda drinker so I would carry around my own kombucha to enjoy as breweries at that time did not have kombucha to offer. We found a commissary kitchen and got to work! We actually got added to the lineup at a local restaurant in Longmont, Jefes, as the kombucha for their Kombucharita! We slowly grew to markets and some coffee shops, quickly outgrowing 2 commissary kitchens. At that point we realized we needed more production space and decided to have our own. We found a space in Mead. I added to the business plan that I wanted to have a tap room. I love being able to educate people and just interact over brews. The down side? Mead Colorado is not thriving with kombucha lovers! So we adjusted the business plan to include craft beer as it’s been a passion of Tanners for years while growing his knowledge and expertise as a home brewer. So the plan and dreaming continued, resulting in a grand opening day in the middle of the COVID pandemic! So to answer the question about if it’s been easy… in no way shape or form! But have we come out stronger on the side? Absolutely! Throughout we have both had our moments but we are a great partnership in life and business and the other was always there for support! We have grown so much through the process. We have learned that in tough moments to take breath, step back, learn, adjust and then saddle back up. So… we are a small nano brewery in Mead Colorado just striving to serve up good craft beer and kombucha while providing an atmosphere that is family friend and can only be experienced. Words can not explain it, you just have to experience it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is such a difficult question. We have so many friends that all have different interests. Typically it will involve a hike or drive into the mountains, local breweries are pretty much a must and finding good eats! We have a few local places that we will usually hit but like to explore and support other local eateries!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is such a difficulty question to answer! We can’t really point to just one place or person. This has been a journey that involved so many who are near and dear to us. From family and friends, to builders and other business owners. The connections we have made are second to none. At this point I would have to say that our community has been the driving force since opening the brewery. They have supported us in not just sales, recruiting new customers but in our everyday life! We constantly see new friendships being made and that is incredibly fulfilling for us!
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