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Meet Amanda Matson and Chris Bourgeois of TapShack

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Matson and Chris Bourgeois.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amanda and Chris. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from
Years ago, our next-door neighbor invited us into her home and we ended up learning how to make our first home brew batch of Kombucha. From that time on in our lives, kombucha was the source of so many connections- with our neighbors, with our community, and with each other- and this was an experience that we wanted to share with as many people as we could.

Chris & I often get questions like what inspired TapShack? Both Chris & I worked for an exceptional technology company. We knew that we were “set” there for life- but that was the exact idea that inspired us to leave. So when we saw the space that is now TapShack come up for rent, we took a huge leap! Slowly but surely we were able to build what is now TapShack- and we did it all debt, loan, and investment free.

Immediately we were inspired to venture out and search for the best, local, micro-batch kombucha to serve on as many taps as we could possibly buy. The drive to share a healthy product paired with the passion for our community led to the creation of TapShackhris

One year later and our vision for TapShack has grown much larger than we ever thought possible.  We are inspired not only to serve, but also to create- by going straight to the source: our local tea providers, farmers, juicers, etc. We now look forward to stepping into our roles as brewers as well.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
With owning and operating your own business, comes a lot of sacrifice. You often hear the glamorous side of startup stories, and although the highs outweigh the lows, the lows do exist.

Having the finances to get TapShack open was one of the hardest struggles that we’ve faced. There were so many things that we didn’t consider in our “budget” so it took us a lot of time to gain traction and get the ball rolling.

Another struggle was navigating through the city and state regulations on our own. It’s not like there’s a booklet out there that tells you exactly what sort of licensing you to need, equipment, procedures, etc.- we had to learn all of this on our own, it was like starting from scratch.

Lastly, this is a grassroots operation that Chris and I have worked pretty much every single day from day one. Time has been the greatest sacrifice of all.When a “shift” ends, and the stores close, we’re still behind the scenes, brewing/doing maintenance/creating/doing admin work, etc.  There is no clock out time for us.

TapShack – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
TapShack is a locally owned and operated Kombucha bar located in both Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, San Diego. TapShack hand selects and rotates San Diego’s BEST local, small batch produced kombucha in town. We also feature our very own line of in-house Cold Brews & Kombuchas (brewed locally at our location in Pacific Beach) to sample from. All beverages are freely dispensed on tap and right into your glass.

We pride ourselves in being an eco-conscious operation- we offer glass growlers or encourage our customers to bring their own as well as paper straws for to go cups. By serving our drinks on tap per kegs, our product stays fresh and produces minimal food waste- aka we do not have to constantly discard food!

What we feel really sets us apart from others is our extremely grass rooted start-up story, our business model- which has created a safe place for a variety of kombucha instead of just one brand or style, our flavors- which we hand select almost daily, our pride and love that we have for our hometown of San Diego, and the experience we have to offer by creating family and friends out of our customers.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It truly makes Chris & I smile thinking about all of the love and support we’ve received from our community, family, and friends. Looking back, there really is no better feeling.

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