Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

UpDog Kombucha- Week 4

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 9:47 am

One of the major components of my job is to work at farmers’ markets each Saturday morning at which I sell and promote the product to the local community, These markets have truly become an invaluable experience in terms of learning how to deal with customers, both the satisfied and the unsatisfied, and how to successfully pitch the product, especially those who have never heard of kombucha and might be reluctant to try.


Each Saturday, the UpDog team wakes up early to pack up for four different markets in Charlotte, Davidson, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro. From there everyone heads out to their respective locations to unpack and set up a booth showcasing UpDog before the first customers to the markets arrive. Now that I’ve had a few markets under my belt, I’ve started to recognize and get to know the other farmers who do the same thing each week and it’s shown me the true community that exists between these vendors who see each other week in and week out.


After setting up, tapping the kegs, and arranging the booth to look nice, I wait for the first people of the day to come up and ask for a refill, ask if our product is for dogs, or just say “what’s UpDog?” and wait for me to get the joke. These hours spent at the markets have taught me to be patient in sales and figure out how to pitch to different audiences. Some people are drawn in by the health benefits, while others have just heard it’s a trendy thing to try and want to hear about where else kombucha may be sold. Even though the questions become repetitive, it is important to answer each potential client’s question fully and clearly because at the end of the day, a lot of people are genuinely curious about what kombucha truly is.


Finding new people and locations to carry the kombucha is an important part of expanding the business and these markets are a great place to find potential buyers. Each sale helps to spread the word and the brand just a little farther and each week I get at least one person who comes up because they heard about it from a friend/cousin/colleague etc.


While the early wake ups on the weekend can be hard, working at these markets has become one of the best parts of my internship experience. It takes the skills I’ve been working on in sales, marketing, and customer service, and combines it in a fun and meaningful way, plus the free strawberries from the vendors next door don’t hurt at all.


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