We had the good fortune of connecting with Shonte’ Powers and Earl Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shonte’ Powers and Earl, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
One of the biggest parts of our success is that we’ve found our niche. We absolutely love food but noticed a lot of the new great food businesses were focused mainly on food and desserts. We were always able to find great food options, but when we asked, “What do you have to drink with this awesome food?”, no one really had a drink to compliment their culinary genius. That was the beginning of our quest to create a great flavor forward beverage that can be enjoyed and savored just as much as your favorite food. KRFT’D derived from the term Handcrafted-and is just that; Handcrafted beverages curated in small batches with the sole purpose of pleasing the palates of the people.
We also spent a lot of time on R & D to ensure the product was branded correctly in all forms. We took a deep dive into the entire social media aspect of the business, as this wasn’t something we wanted to take lightly in these changing times. We reevaluated the look, design and feel of our webpage and Instagram page to reflect how we wanted our product to be represented to the world. We wanted to capture the depth of our flavors and project them through imagery, which was a challenge in itself. We reached out to photographer Wreiko Dawson of EYEAMSHOOTER for visuals, and partnered with January and Jessica at New World Agency for creative direction and web development. With that being said, “Mission Accomplished”!! We were more than pleased with the outcome and would like to give them their flowers. Thanks ladies!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
KRFT’D derived from the term Handcrafted-and is just that; Handcrafted beverages curated in small batches with the sole purpose of pleasing the palates of the people. There aren’t many beverage brands that can boast that their product is produced by hand. We also stand apart from other brands because we create all of our recipes and flavor combinations in house. No artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no additives and no preservatives. We also took a different approach to classic lemonade by adding savory, tropical, and natural herb notes to a household staple. We’ve created some of the most divine beverages one could imagine.
We’re proud that we’re a young black couple that was able to start a successful business during a pandemic. We’re extremely proud that we get to build a legacy for our family, and create jobs for our community. Although the journey hasn’t been easy, we’ve been able to push past the challenges because we know that the outcome will be worth it.
Lastly, we are simply proud that we stepped out of the box, went left, and created a brand out of our love of the culinary world that is actually appreciated and loved by individuals. It’s the people and their love of our creations that keep us going. When people taste our product and give us the look of satisfaction, that’s the ‘Why” for us. When you find your “Why”, you find your purpose.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Places to Visit/Hang Out: LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
CAAM (California African-American Museum)
Santa Monica Pier
Katana (Asian Fusion), Palmilla Cocina Y Tequila (Upscale Mexican), Caló Kitchen + Tequila (Upscale Mexican), Creole Cafe (Southern and Creole Food), Wi Jammin Caribbean Cafe (Jamaican Cuisine), Oh My Burger (Next Level Burgers), Earle’s on Crenshaw (Hot Dogs, Vegan Options), Orleans and York (Creole Deli), Beauty & Essex (Upscale American), Laurel Hardware (Brunch), Tao (Asian)
Caló Kitchen + Tequila
Palmilla Cocina Y Tequila
Beauty & Essex
EP & LP
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think we both want to dedicate the shoutout to each other-lol Now that we’ve found our groove, we push each other to keep going and have encouraged each other in different ways through this entire process. I (Shonte’) had my doubts about starting an artisanal lemonade company in the beginning, but Earl convinced me otherwise, and I definitely give him credit for that. KRFT’D may not have gotten started had it not been for him, and for that, I am thankful.