Yum! GT’s Living Foods founder and CEO, GT Dave, tells Us exclusively how his business got off the ground and what is next for the brand.
The pioneer began brewing and bottling Kombucha at age 15 and became the first to put the product on the shelves in the U.S. The brand’s top-selling Kombucha is raw, organic and handcrafted in small batches for optimum taste and benefits.
Keep reading for GT Dave’s Q&A with Us Weekly:
US: Tell us a little bit about how you founded GT’s Living Foods and why Kombucha?
GD: My motivation for making Kombucha first originated from my parents when they began drinking it in the ‘90s. I witnessed firsthand how much they loved it and eventually how it helped my mom during her battle with breast cancer. It was then that I began to explore and research Kombucha and [read] many books about its extensive nutritional qualities and subsequent health benefits. That’s when I was inspired to start drinking it myself. Within the first month of consumption, I already started to notice changes. Not only did I experience physical improvements, like clearer skin and a more resilient immune system, but I felt an increase in energy and lift in my mood. I knew Kombucha was very special and that I wanted to share it with the world so it can also help others on their health and wellness journey.
US: What brought you to ultimately create the Rooted in Nature campaign?
GD: I believe Mother Nature is the source for all nourishment and health. In our increasingly modern and tech-heavy lives, we are slowly losing our connection to her. The Rooted in Nature campaign symbolizes our relationship with the natural world and how we must nurture it now more than ever — both for body and mind health.
US: Take us through the Roots flavors. What makes them unique? When and why do you recommend drinking each flavor? What are the benefits?
GD: Our root-centric flavors, which include Gingerade (our No. 1 most popular flavor), Heart Beet and Tantric Turmeric, are unique because of the collective message they embody due to their “root” origin — that Mother Nature is the root of our all mind-body health. Through each flavor, we highlight the root ingredients to further emphasize the probiotic benefits of improved digestion, immunity and overall vitality that originate from nature. Like many fermented foods, authentically crafted raw Kombucha contains many of the nutrients that are absent in modern day diets. The enzymes, organic acids and probiotics that are naturally occurring in Kombucha help replenish the gut, rid the body of toxins and restore balance. We have learned that once the body is restored to a more balanced state, it can better heal itself and fight off illness and disease. Kombucha in general should be consumed daily as part of a whole nutritious diet to experience the impact of its benefits long term.
US: What’s next for GT’s Living Foods? Any exciting new products we should be on the lookout for?
GD: My mission has always been to help people on their health and wellness journeys and change the way they view living foods. For 25 years, GT’s Living Foods has revolutionized how people think and feel about Kombucha and fermented foods in the western world. My goal is to continue on that path and show how plant-based foods can improve our overall health and wellness and act as our “medicine.” In addition to Kombucha, we make other forms of nutritious and immune-boosting offerings that utilize other undiscovered foods such as adaptogenic mushrooms, water kefir and raw coconut yogurt. Our role is to help provide greater awareness and access to foods that truly heal.
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