Chats about Kombucha with Anthony Crabb, MOJO co-founder and CEO.
When and why did MOJO start?
In 2008, I began experimenting with home brewing Kombucha, starting on the kitchen bench and gradually proceeding to the family shed as demand for the tasty fermented brew grew. Everyone who tasted MOJO loved the way it made them feel, and a plan to take probiotic-packed drinks to the people was born!
Who founded it?
MOJO was created by my wife Sarah and I, with support from a host of friends and family. Together we created Australia’s first kombucha brand, travelling all over Australia and getting folks to taste our wonder-brew along the way.
What’s the ethos behind it?
The initial concept was born out of a desire to see more people enjoying the health benefits of fermented food and drinks, providing a tasty and low sugar alternative to traditional soft drinks or artificially sweetened beverages. We have always been into a wholefood, organic and low waste style of eating, so we wove those elements into our brand.
Why is Kombucha good for us?
As well as being an organically certified, traditionally fermented kombucha with absolutely no artificial sweeteners, MOJO Kombucha contains an exclusive probiotic strain which is scientifically proven to support immunity, gut health and digestion. The more the scientific community learns about the human microbiome its connection to wellness, the more we understand the importance of nurturing our gut health – Kombucha is an accessible and simple way to do that.
What was your first experience with Kombucha?
We first tasted kombucha brought back to Australia from overseas . The sweet and sour balance, the subtle effervescence and most importantly the way it made us feel was immediately addictive. Perfecting our own recipe took a lot of time and experimentation, but we continue to brew with the same SCOBY we began with, guaranteeing the perfect MOJO every time.
Can you share how building the brand has been?
It has had its unique challenges – we literally had to create the kombucha category in Australia, being the first brand available. That took passion, persistence and guts! We began our business journey just as the health focus on food and drinks kicked off in Australia, so there’s been a lot of education and sampling along the way, and that continues as our products reach a growing audience.
Tell us about your toughest moment building the business?
Although it’s a good problem to have, a big challenge at times has been scaling production to meet demand!
Tell us about your greatest moment?
My greatest moments revolve around the team we’ve built in the business – people are everything! But equally, I love seeing people tasting kombucha for the first time and reacting to its surprising flavour.
What have you learnt about yourself?
That it takes a team of great people to build a business and a brand!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To taste kombucha – that’s where the magic began!
Where do you source the ingredients from?
Every bottle of MOJO is made with top quality organic ingredients, of which around 90% are of Australian origin.
Mojo has recently been bought by Coke. How do you think this change will affect the brand?
The bottom line is that it means more MOJO in more fridges across Australia. We are the first kombucha company globally acquired by Coke, and their belief in our expertise, experience and product quality means that they are all about supporting the work we’re already doing. We will remain in Willunga where MOJO has always been, and continue to produce the same products with the same ingredients and the same hard working team.
What’s the brand philosophy?
To make products which contribute to humans feeling happier and healthier.
What would you say to anyone starting a business?
It’s all about the team! Foster a positive culture – it draws the best people to you.