While working in private banking, Jacqueline Rusher partnered with her sister to open the first Kava Culture Kava Bar location in 2017. Today, there are seven Kava Culture locations and Rusher’s full-time job is leading the chain’s 85 employees while growing the brand.

“Kava Culture was the first sober social bar of its kind. By creating social spaces where everyone can meet and connect, the community has welcomed and supported our growth,” she says. “Our bars use a unique community event model, opening our doors to young aspiring artists, musicians and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents. We also use our spaces to benefit local organizations like Gulf Coast Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity and Blessings in a Backpack.”

What are your future aspirations?

We’ve opened eight kava bars in four years, and our goals continue to evolve. With wholesale distribution and franchising in full swing, we are steadily moving beyond Florida borders, and I’ve never been more humbled or grateful.