Founder Interview: Malene Sihm Vejlsgaard, Co-Founder of CHAMUCHA

Posted by Kombucha Summit Team on July 03, 2019 · 6 mins read
Malene Sihm Vejlsgaard
Founder of CHAMUCHA

Kombucha brewers from across Europe and beyond are joining us for the Kombucha Summit in Berlin this October! Today, we are launching the Founder Interview Series to highlight some of the participating brewers, their stories and what excites them about the Kombucha industry. First up is Malene from CHAMUCHA, a fellow brewer based out of Switzerland!

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Describe your product in one sentence and tell us about your brand.

Chamucha Kombucha is different from what you have ever tasted before. A sophisticated and surprising gourmet experience, offering an alternative, when good food must be accompanied by good drinks.

What‘s your story and how did you get started?

Actually I’m not a 'kombucha-mama’ but a business woman with a long history in strategic branding working in London, Copenhagen and now Luzern. However, I’m also passionate about great food and wine, and for more than 30 years I’ve been looking for an alternative to wine to accompany great food. A gourmet drink! For many reasons; I could be pregnant, wanting to be sober at weekday dinners, or the one to drive my lovely husband home after a pleasant dinner - or simply and more recently, I’ve not felt like drinking. Mostly I’ve been left with water, sparkling or not, which are both really boring, So I’ve been searching for an alternative to water to pair with food. Something interesting with the complexity as wine, vinous, deep in taste…

So why kombucha? Above being a business woman, a food and wine fan and a driving home wife, I’m also a mum. Unfortunately, 2 1/2 years ago, my teenage daughter got a terrible stomach pain and was sent through the hospital systems around Europe. One doctor whispered into my ear that I should try to serve kombucha for her. First, I did not really like it, but the exciting story of kombucha, its acquired taste, the natural components and the living, wild creature SCOBY, as well as the many supposed health benefits stirred my interest. I started experimenting with kombucha for months, till it delivered my wishes for an alternative to wine - not just another kombucha - but a new category of drinks.

What‘s your current stage?

Actually, Chamucha Kombucha is just launching its first batches at high-end luxury hotels in Switzerland, serving international customers, who are interested in paying a premium price for a high-end hand-crafted product served to a gourmet dinner. As a start-up, the amount of hours, energy and dedication put into the process is bigger than the output - and so far, it’s only a hobby.

What excites you most about Kombucha and its future?

I believe that this new category of drinks like Chamucha - non-alcoholic beverages with an acquired and vinous taste - is growing fast, as studies show that more than 60% of consumers want better choices when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, and more than 50% of consumers are drinking more no and low alcohol drinks than last year. These customers are undeserved at the moment - and there is a great demand for such non-alcoholic options.

What are your expectations in attending the Kombucha Summit?

I attended the Professional Kombucha Producers’ Workshop in Barcelona in March, and arrived with questions, which were answered, however, I also returned with answers to questions, I did not know I had prior to my attendance. In addition, I met some very inspiring people with the same ‘nerdy’ interest in kombucha, as I have. So with regards to the Kombucha Summit, I’m very open and would love to learn from others and how they have challenged their markets and how they have developed their concepts and brands.

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Thanks, Malene. We'll be releasing more founder stories every few days from now on, so stay tuned!

You can purchase your tickets here and in case you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to ping us at or on Instagram.

Founder Interview Disclaimer

The views, opinions and positions expressed within our Founder Interview Series are those of the interviewee alone and do not represent those of Kombucha Summit (Good Culture Kombucha Limited). The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.