Sorrento Valley’s Seven Seas Kombucha, the brainchild of former biotech industry members Lori Sepkowski and Kevin Mashayekan, is facing choppy waters, with their tasting room temporarily closed due to COVID-19. WC spoke with Mashayekan, the company’s head brewer and operations manager, about how they’re faring.
WC: How have you pivoted your business due to the pandemic?
KM: When we opened, we focused primarily on keg distribution. About a month or two ago, however, we launched our new website and online store where we offer free local delivery to customers’ doors.
WC: What makes Seven Seas different from other kombucha?
KM: What separates Seven Seas Kombucha is our scientific approach. Prior to opening our brewery, we studied microbiology at university and worked in the biotech field. Once we started making kombucha at home as a hobby, we began using our scientific knowledge and expertise to tweak traditional brewing techniques and adjust our bacterial cultures. By the time we were ready to open up shop, we created a style of kombucha that was much milder, tastier, and less acidic than all the other brands we had tried.
WC: Are you still experimenting with new flavors, or sticking to the tried-and-true?
KM: Normally we’re always working on new flavors and playing with new ingredients, but these last couple of months we’ve put that on pause to work on our new website and kombucha delivery service. I’m happy to say that we’re just now getting back to working on new flavors again, and I’m really excited to release them in the next couple of weeks. We’re also going to bring back some of our well-loved experimental flavors from the past, like our pineapple/papaya/cayenne and horchata flavors, and make them available for delivery as well.