Meet the Founder: Michael Sharon, Taika

3 min readNov 27, 2021


To celebrate Small Business Saturday, we interviewed founders of some of our favorite small businesses, including Michael Sharon of Taika in San Francisco.

Q: For those who don’t know, tell us a little about yourself and your brand?

Taika means magic in Finnish and every single one of our delightful keto-friendly, plant-based coffees and teas will make you feel inspired, not wired. Taste the magic in our blend of single origin coffees, organic ceremonial grade matcha and adaptogens which deliver immune support, focused energy, improved thinking and reduced stress.

I’m Michael — the co-founder + CEO at Taika. My background is mostly in tech — I started a mobile location company back in NYC before it was cool and then joined Facebook to work on mobile + small businesses before it was… err.. not cool. :) . My co-founder Kal Freese is one of the best baristas in the world and also has a background in food science.

Q: What inspired you to create Taika?

Chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity are the #1 killers in the world. A major cause is added sugar in consumer packaged goods — products like coffee, cereals and soda.

We were both inspired by the idea of stealth health — making it easy for people to live healthier lifestyles that prevent chronic diseases. Making stealth health products means creating things that taste absolutely delicious but are secretly healthy for you.

Q: November is often associated with giving, based on your inspiration to create the company, could you discuss how this month specifically resonates with your brand, product, and overall mission?

November and the concepts of giving and focusing on spending quality time with the right people in your life resonates strongly with our brand and overall mission. Our mission is to create products which make it effortless to live a healthier lifestyle and better health is the most priceless gift that you can give yourself and loved ones around you.

Q: As a small business, do you or your team do anything special for Small Business Saturday?

Not yet! Should we?

Q: You’ve launched some great flavors this year including a Matcha and Pumpkin Spice Latte, can you share any additional flavors that may be on the horizon?

Thanks! We’re so excited about both of them but our focus on incredibly high quality ingredients with all of our products (particularly our Matcha Latte and Pumpkins Spice Latte) meant we were even nominated for a Best Of 2021 award from BevNET! Unfortunately we can’t really talk more about new flavors before they drop but we’re working on some fun collabs with a number of folks that we’re excited to share with everyone early in the new year.

Q: What is something you hope FastAF users will gain from your product?

We’re hoping that Taika gives them the energy, focus and clarity to expand their creativity and tackle everything on their plate while feeling awake, aware and inspired!

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

One exciting thing about Taika is that it’s also delicious heated up! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pour Taika into your favorite microwave safe mug
  2. Microwave for 60–90 seconds
  3. Enjoy your perfectly calibrated, steaming hot latte

You can use any heat source of your choice: stove, fire, flamethrower… just make sure you pour the Taika out of the can first.