Eugenia Ripari, Wild Tea Kombucha, Argentina
Q: When did you first discover kombucha?
We each have different beginnings with kombucha. Nahuel comes from a family whose background is in botany, specifically Fungi and grew up with a father who enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. Nahuel’s first encounter with kombucha was as a young man drinking the vinagary pellicled drink in the mornings before breakfast. I (Eugenia) discovered kombucha in 2010 while studying interior design and doing a project on food access, health and design. Since then, I’ve been juicing and kombucha-ing all the way to Patagonia.
Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?
I (Eugenia) had been working on opening a food truck in Bariloche when everything closed down due to COVID. When that backfired I decided to change course and focused on refining my kombucha (that I brought from Baltimore, MD) so that it would be something that my friends and community could enjoy. We worked on transforming the kombucha from the more traditional funky flavors we love, to something more inviting to someone that has never heard of the product and is a bit hesitant of trying new things. Now we offer Ginger, Raspberry Hibiscus, and Elderflower as well as some limited edition flavors depending on the season.
Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha?
When I lived in the US, I would stop for Health-aide’s Pink Apple or Wild Kombucha’s Grapefruit Lavender.
Q: What is your former/current other life or career?
Nahuel is rock climber and lab tech at a nearby University. I used to be a wellness associate at an organic market, interior designer, and real estate agent. Starting a kombucha brand in Patagonia seems to be an obvious next step:)
Q: What is a saying that you live by?
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage… not sure who said this but we tend to embrace our fears and uncertainty and try to use this to become better humans.