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Mary Jane leaves Denver for the Coast

A recent LA Times business article about Denver-based Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda has given the company the buzz that CEO Matt Moody was looking for, but it also revealed his plans to close the Denver office by the end of the year and consolidate operations in California, where business is budding.

"I love Denver and my preference would be not to leave, but we think it is the best decision with distribution such a key, and that came quickly in California," Moody says. "It doesn't make sense to be so far away, trying to keep up with California; it's just a strategic move."

Last week's piece resulted in interview requests from food bloggers and increased orders not just from this country, but also European companies eager to get a hold of the cola-tasting kava drink that Moody started last year, after he was laid off from his job at a Denver nutritional supplements company.

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"It has been crazy around here," says Moody. "We knew the article was going to happen, but not when it was going to run. I gave the interview in late November, so we had prepared -- and then we were waiting and waiting and all of a sudden, bam, we were caught a little off-guard."

But this won't be the end of Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda in Colorado. Although the company has struggled to find a distribution company here, the state remains one of the three main marketing targets, along with California and New York.

"I hope to live in Denver and eventually re-establish a branch here," Moody says. "I still think we can."

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