Family elixir becomes billion dollar kombucha business, thanks to Angeleno GT Dave

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GT Dave lives in Beverly Hills and has a $40 million plant in Vernon where he bottles kombucha and other products like kefir water, coconut yogurt, and sparkling tea infused with mushrooms. Photo courtesy of Whitney Wolder.

GT Dave grew up in LA with spiritual, holistic, health-obsessed parents. They introduced him to plant-based foods and medicines when he was young. 

“There was a lot coming into the household at a very young age — wheatgrass and tofu and chia seeds and fermenting this and fermenting that,” he says. 

Kombucha, a fermented tea that originated in China, was one of the quirky foods his parents brought into the household in the early 1990s.

Fast forward three decades, and Dave now owns a billion-dollar business called GT’s Living Foods, and bottles millions of gallons of kombucha a year. Head to the drink aisle at your favorite grocery store, or even some gas stations, and chances are you’ll see his product.

KCRW spoke with Dave about how the kombucha industry got so big, the origins of the drink, and its health benefits.

Credits

Guest:

  • GT Dave - Founder, GT’s Living Foods