Q+A with CEO and Founder, Daina Trout
One of our favorite ways to recharge and restore is by drinking kombucha, and our go-to brand is Health-Ade. We’re obsessed with their probiotic-rich drinks that are made with cold-pressed organic juice.
We reached out to Daina Trout, the CEO and Founder of Health-Ade to learn more about what makes their kombucha so healthy and rejuvenating and how she was inspired to start the company.
Health-Ade also shared this delicious recipe for a Ginger Kombrewcha cocktail made with their Ginger Lemon Kombucha. We’ll be sipping on this on Memorial Day to help us feel a little better about our beer consumption.
Check out our conversation with Daina.
by CHLOE.: Introduce yourself.
Daina Trout: I’m Daina Trout, CEO and Founder of Health-Ade Kombucha. I’ve grown up and lived all over, and moved to LA almost 10 years ago. I love it here, and consider sunny California my home. I’m a new mom running a growing Kombucha company with my husband, Justin, and best friend, Vanessa. Life is beyond busy – and I finish each day barely able to keep my eyes open – but I am grateful for all of it. It was my dream to make my mark, and I’m proud to be living it, even when it gets hard.
bC: What is Health-Ade?
DT: Health-Ade is the best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy. We pull out all the stops to make the best brew, like fermenting in super-small, all-glass batches and flavoring with extremely high quality ingredients like cold-pressed juice from all organic produce. In case you didn’t know, kombucha is a fermented tea beverage, naturally rich in probiotics and healthy acids. We believe in bringing REAL food back to the commercial shelf, so we make kombucha the old-school way, like you’d make it at home. The result is a super-delicious, effervescent beverage that is naturally low in sugar, calories, and caffeine. Yum!
bC: What inspired you and your co-founders to create Health-Ade?
DT: After graduating and working in corporate America, over time I realized that I needed to make my mark. I needed to do something challenging, BIG and disruptive. My partners Justin and Vanessa felt the same way, so we started an entrepreneur club. With only a few hundred bucks to put toward the business, we came up with a ton of ideas that, realistically, we couldn’t capitalize on. Ironically enough, we would sip on my home-brewed 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 darn good kombucha, we had everything we would need to “give it a go” commercially. I, the kombucha brewer, was passionate about bringing REAL food back to the commercial shelf, Vanessa knew sales, and Justin knew marketing. We had exactly what we needed to start Health-Ade.
bC: When and how did you start making kombucha?
DT: I received my BS from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Nutrition and Public Health from Tufts University. During this time in my life, I developed many of my own philosophies and 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!). I began brewing kombucha out of my house, and this actually continued even when Health-Ade was developed and we began selling at farmer’s markets.
bC: What sets Health-Ade apart from other kombucha drinks?
DT: The goal at Health-Ade has always been to deliver the best tasting and highest quality Kombucha you can buy, and the difference is that we do EVERYTHING we can to make the best REAL brew. The list is long, but for one–we are the only large-scale kombucha company that brews in glass. Also, we believe high quality kombucha comes in small packages – so we handcraft it right here in Los Angeles, in super-small 2.5 gallon glass jars (yes, we have a lot of these.) We flavor with the highest quality ingredients we can find, like cold-pressed juice from organic produce, that we try to source as locally as possible. Our favorite farmer, “Papa Gene” from Etheridge Farms in Dinuba, has set aside a number of pomegranate trees just for Health-Ade, and we’ve heard we’re one of the largest organic ginger buyers in California. We love our farmers and have made it a point to always support the real food movement in the local community. We care a lot about bringing REAL food to the commercial shelf, and our process reflects this.
bC: Your tagline is “Follow your gut”. What does that mean to you?
DT: I find that the story of Health-Ade is actually an ode to the belief that following your gut is integral on one’s journey to happiness and health. I believe in the health it takes to be happy, and only YOU know if you’re happy (and thus healthy). We’d like to see a world where people start to realize that they have everything they need to find health and happiness within them already, and to trust in themselves and their instincts to get there. We believe when you have the courage to bet on yourself, you will win.
bC: What is your most popular flavor of Health-Ade?
DT: It’s definitely a tie between Ginger Lemon and Pink Lady Apple. Wait…maybe it’s Pomegranate. Oh, and then there’s Sweet Thorn. I love Sweet Thorn.
bC: We’ve heard about new exciting flavors. Can you share any deets?
DT: Let’s just say we’re all big fans of chocolate and coffee here at Health-Ade. If you are too, you’ll love what’s up ahead.
bC: What can we expect to see next from Health-Ade?
DT: Health-Ade wants to continue to bring REAL food to the commercial shelf, so always expect more of that. Also, Health-Ade wants to make a real mark beyond food. I am passionate about following your gut and the promise it brings. I’d like to see more people looking inward for answers, and trusting in themselves a little bit more. I’d like to say that you can expect support on this movement from Health-Ade. If you’re out there, giving your heart a go, that takes a lot of courage, and we’re with you.
bC: On a random note, we love the colorful hair you’ve been sporting (it’s currently blue). What’s your favorite color you’ve had so far and what was the inspiration?
DT: I love this question. Coloring my hair is a very awesome experience, and it usually reflects the thing I’m trying to “say” as a person at the time. When I was firey RED, I remember feeling like I had something to say (like I want to quit my safe job and take a leap of faith in starting a business of my own), but I didn’t have the courage to say it. Red felt right. Now, I’m loving to play with unexpected hair colors, like green, purple, and blue. Someone said to me, you can’t be a successful and important CEO and have blue hair. I knew what I had to do. And YES, I’m loving proving them wrong.
bC: What’s your favorite dish at by CHLOE.?
DT: The Kale Caesar! It’s a fun (and delicious) take on one of my favorite foods.
bC: What does “Eat well. Eat with purpose.” mean to you?
DT: To me, it simply means to care when you eat. Care enough to be present. Care enough to think about what you’re fueling your body with. Care enough to ask yourself what you REALLY want. Care enough to give yourself what you deserve. Care enough to listen to your body and follow your gut.
1. Nickname? BUBBLES
2. Favorite place on earth? Santa Barbara
3. Sweet or savory? Savory, for sure. Can I just say French fries and ketchup instead?
4. Cocktail of choice? Pomegranate kombucha, some work-horse rye bitters, and organic vodka. My “pom-tini”.
5. Your last meal would be? Caesar salad, all the way.
6. Kitchen appliance that you most identify with? I love my all-clad pans. They’re everything I’m not in the kitchen—clean and even.
7. Spirit animal? Sometimes an owl, sometimes a dog.
8. Weird personal fact? The longer I don’t wash my hair, the better it looks. Weird! When people ask me about it I blame it on kombucha.
9. Making a movie about your life, who plays you? Katy Perry
10. Stranded on an island, what 3 things do you bring? Knife, matches, and a kombucha scoby.
12. Favorite board game? Cranium… I love to win!
13. Go-to workout? Hip Hop dancing, hands down.
14. Worst pronunciation of kombucha you’ve heard? KAMBOOKA
15. 1 hair color for life, what do you choose? This is an impossible to choose. ONE COLOR????? Ok. I will have to go with my favorite color… green. No, Magenta. Wait, for sure for sure…lavender.