Kombucha is being cranked out by the crateload from an unassuming golf course clubhouse by three friends who launched their new business last fall.
Kare Kombucha was started by Guatemalan immigrant Sergio Garrido and his two friends Will McClafferty and Ben Brush, who were producing 60 litres of the drink per week for local businesses just before Christmas.
“We want to have the same excellence in Kare Kombucha as we do with Aroma Maya,” said Garrido of his two businesses. “We’re very excited for this. Hopefully there’s a lot of potential to grow our kombucha business.”
When Garrido and his partners started their kombucha line last October, they supplied just two local business with their drink made from tea.
However, they are now expanding their operations with the help of new industrial-scale brewing equipment scheduled to arrive this week and will be selling kombucha to Foodland, among their other customers.
Garrido said that with their new equipment, he and his colleagues could produce up to 800 litres of kombucha a week, but “we’d be working day and night.”
The equipment will allow Kare Kombucha to quadruple its capacity, according to Garrido and McClafferty.
“We’re proud to be working with all these businesses, offering some nice local kombucha,” said McClafferty.
Garrido, who grew up in Guatemala City, reflected on how his heritage helped him start a business in his new home of Colchester County after immigrating to Canada eight years ago.
“Guatemala has a vibrant entrepreneurial scene and pretty much everyone in my family are entrepreneurs,” said Garrido. “I’ve not known any different. Growing up, that’s what you see a lot.”
Both Kare Kombucha and Aroma Maya products are shipped to clients from the former Riverrun Golf Course clubhouse in North River.
FACTBOX – How is kombucha produced?
New batches of kombucha are brewed over seven days. Tea is mixed with sugar and added to the kombucha culture in a vat. It is then left to ferment over several days until the flavor and pH level is correct.
Next, flavourings are added and the mix is chilled before it is poured into the bottles and shipped to customers.
Kombucha is sold in flavours such as ginger and pineapple.
People drink kombucha to enjoy the flavour and some claim it has health benefits, but this is disputed by doctors.