Kelsey Hendricks, Tofino Kombucha, Tofino, BC, Canada

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

In 2013, while making a deposit at a bank, I asked the teller (who was a friend of mine) what she was drinking that day. The kombucha bottle was empty, but she let me smell the strong vinegary fumes still emitting from the bottle. Wow! I believed her when she said it was a health drink and that I should go to the store and buy a bottle. I tried it and I loved it! Soon, I had tried every brand and flavour sold in my small town, but I wanted more. Now it was time to try making it myself.

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

Kombucha brewing really is an art form and when you love creating something you end up wanting to share your creation. Starting a kombucha company was a small idea that began to snowball and before you know my research into whether I should start a kombucha business turned into me ACTUALLY starting a kombucha business. It was a long process to get the business from an idea to a real thing living and growing in my basement. As exciting as it is to put a label on my bottle and see it leave for the grocery store and then see someone drinking and enjoying it, it’s even more exciting knowing that I am sharing something healthy that I love to make and hopefully it will help inspire more people to make healthier eating choices, including more fermented foods.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

Ferrytale Rose by Raincoast Kombucha from Powell River, BC (made with dried cherries, green rooibos and rose petals).

Q: What is your former/current other life or career?

Former career: I have a background in accounting, administration, business, hospitality, and food service – all of which have been very useful in starting a beverage company. Other life: I am a mom, a wife, a gardener, a sourdough bread maker, an okay cook, a runner, a surfer, a hiker, a camper and lover of the outdoors.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

Always be open to learning because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.