gas prices

Vista Kombucha Brewery Bracing for Impact of Soaring Gas Prices

Vista-based Local Roots Kombucha leaped several hurdles on their way to surviving the pandemic, and now they're staring down rising costs due to record-high gas prices

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It’s a wonder how some businesses survived the last two years. The pandemic shut many of them down; the supply chain hindered their ability to get supplies and when they could the prices skyrocketed; and now gas prices threaten to increase prices again.

“Quite a roller coaster ride through COVID, that’s for sure,” said Ryan White, co-founder of Local Roots Kombucha in Vista. “The impact on delays in construction and prices of lumber, like everything just went through the roof.”

White and fellow co-founder Joe Carmichael moved into their Vista location at the end of 2019 to make their own versions of kombucha, a fermented tea.

“A few months later the world shut down,” sighed White.

“Obviously COVID’s been a much bigger curveball for us than we planned,” said Carmichael.

The pandemic stalled their progress. It shut down some of the restaurants serving their drinks. Then the supply chain issues sent their costs soaring. Carmichael and White couldn’t open their large tasting room and restaurant.

“The costs of goods have gone up anywhere from 10 to 25%,” explained Carmichael.

Local Roots was able to sustain and even grow their business because their new location was equipped with a canning machine. That allowed them to extend distribution of their canned drinks throughout California and into Arizona.

It was a tough pill to swallow for the businessmen. They expect it to get even tougher when the full impact of gas prices factors into the equation.

“We’re getting nervous about that because I don’t think that’s even quite hit yet on the freight, but it will,” said White.

“That’s where we really feel the price pressure; with shipping, logistics, the challenges that come with all of that,” added Carmichael.

Gas prices will eventually make Local Roots’ supplies more expensive. They expect it to also add to their own shipping costs. That’s one of the reasons why White and Carmichael look forward to finally opening their Vista tasting room and restaurant. A grand opening is set for March 26. It could be the boost that gives the businessmen a little breathing room in a tight economy.

“It’s been a wild ride,” smiled Carmichael.

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