We had the good fortune of connecting with Karl Trujillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karl, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
From a young age I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit. Growing up I went from wanting to be an inventor to wanting to start my own video game company to wanting to start my own supercar company to wanting to start my own restaurant. Now while these ideas are all vastly different industries, the common denominator was always that I wanted it to be my own creation. In my college years I became involved with the robust San Diego craft beer scene, and I fell in love with the idea of having my own brewery. I switched majors and went through the Business of Craft beer pr0gram at SDSU. Armed with knowledge and passion, a good family friend came to me with the idea for a healthy alcohol called hard kombucha. After reading up on all the awesome benefits of kombucha, as well as trying some for myself, I was sold. We sat down and hashed out what would soon take over the alcohol industry- our own creation of “healthy alcohol.”
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business, as I alluded to earlier, is a healthy alcohol brand called Dr. Boochart’s Hard Kombucha. We are unique to the industry because we are the only alcohol brand on the market using scientifically proven vitamins, herbs, minerals and adaptogens to counterbalance the negative effects of alcohol on the body (liver, brain, etc.). And on top of that, our hard kombucha base is already sugar free, gluten free, keto friendly and full of live probiotics. I am very proud of the fact that we are giving health oriented people a new option that fits any dietary lifestyle. It has taken quite a lot to go from being an idea to a tangible product on the market in 1 year. We spent about 6 months on product development, specifically on getting a hard kombucha we liked the taste of. We started off with black tea as the kombucha base but switched to yerba mate as it has a milder tang and less of the vinegar taste associated with kombucha. Once we had a product we liked, it was time to find a place to make it. We wanted to avoid the high start up costs associated with opening your own brewery, so we made a partnership with Dos Desperados Brewery in San Marcos to brew for us while we test the market with our product. After the agreement was in place we had to get our permits from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control which usually takes a couple months. Once we got the permits approved we were finally ready to hit the market! It was a long road with many challenges, and I would say the biggest lesson I learned was patience. A little patience goes a long way in this industry, and trying to rush things to fit the schedule you want can lead to mistakes that outweigh the cost of waiting. It really is amazing to see something that started out in your basement become a real thing on store shelves people can buy!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite things about San Diego is how much cool stuff there is to do here! One of my favorite spots is Kate Sessions park in Pacific Beach. Its a beautiful park on the side of Mount Soledad with one of the best views of Downtown, with Mission Bay as the foreground and tons of dogs playing in the grass. It really captures everything great about San Diego. I would also take time to show them around some good spots in North County like the Oceanside Pier, the Carlsbad Village and Palomar Mountain that usually don’t get as much attention as the big spots in downtown.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to highlight my parents in this section. They have done so much for me over the years, from raising me to believe in my dreams to providing guidance through college and giving me financial advice that allowed me to finish college debt free with good credit, which has opened so many doors for me already as a young adult who started their first business at the age of 24. I certainly would not be in this position without their love and support.