Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have enabled the use of microbial production platforms for the renewable production of many high-value natural products. Titers and yields, however, are often too low to result in commercially viable processes. Microbial co-cultures have the ability to distribute metabolic burden and allow for modular specific optimization in a way that is not possible through traditional monoculture fermentation methods. Rensselaer Inventors created a new type of E. coli co-culture for biosynthesis of flavonoids as well as a method of optimizing co-cultures for the production of other products. The E. coli co-culture is optimized for many synthetic variables in order to obtain the highest yield of the desired product. To accomplish the improvement in titer, factors such as strain compatibility, carbon source, temperature, induction point, and inoculation ratio were initially optimized. The invention is easy to produce, more environmentally friendly and can be adopted to other high value products.