Welcome to Founder Interview number 4! Today, we are interviewing Shakeera, founder of Kombucha Shack based in the UK!
In one sentence - Healthy gut, healthy mind. I am always aiming to provide a quality product that not only tastes good but also gives all the added health benefits. All of the ingredients have been carefully selected by hand with the notion of 'we are what we eat'. I currently have in production 4 classic flavours for kombucha lovers and those that consider themselves aficionados. I also have a Booch Spritzer range that comes in 5 flavours. These are for those who are new to kombucha, or are not quite sure about that distinct tart flavour but want to all the benefits of it. I make everything myself, choose only the freshest fruit, herbs and flowers where possible to infuse into my kombucha and this is something people have already really enjoyed about my product. I also have a number of herbal tea blends on offer.
I have always been open to trying new things and this was on of them many years ago. I spent a lot of money buying it and a friend of mine said "why not brew your own? it's apparently very easy to do it" so I thought, why not. I went on to Amazon and sure enough I found Happy Kombucha selling SCOBYs online. It arrived in a few days and I cleaned out an old kilner jar I hadn't used for some time because the lid was broken so it was perfect for kombucha and away I was. Shortly after I got myself a 5 litre vessel and the SCOBYs kept multiplying. Soon enough I had 3 big jars and making so much kombucha kept giving it away to friends. A friend of mine suggested I start selling it and so I banded together with another friend who was brewing at the time and we started to sell our kombucha at festivals and events. Unfortunately she had other things crop up so I decided to take the company forward as the sole owner.
I run a small company currently out of my own home and do everything myself from brewing to bottling to selling and marketing. I sell locally in London but have had a few orders come from Scotland and other areas in England. I work full time as a building surveyor but eventually I would love to be able to make kombucha work for me full time.
I think kombucha is so versatile with all the flavour combinations you can try, using it as a mixer for cocktails, as a fizzy drink alternative without the high sugar content or artificial sweeteners. Kombucha by itself has all that good bacteria and depending on what water you use and what fruits or herbs you use, it can have so much more in it. like a little magical potion. I think people should drink it, if they can, because more and more studies have been carried out linking mental illness to poor gut health. I myself have noticed a change in my immune system and overall health and I've not changed much else in my diet. Kombucha gaining popularity in Europe excites me because it forms a sort of community and I am all about sharing.
As I have a small company, I would most like to learn about scaling up and most importantly how other companies have gone about doing that. What have been their pitfalls and how they overcame them. I am always learning more and more about the industry and trying to grow my business. How other companies went about to get funding to expand, what innovative solutions they have used. I am very keen to meet the founders of Baerbucha and also Jarr. I first tried Jarr early last year and I fell in love with their ginger flavour and if anything, in my opinion they are the best commercial kombucha brewers in London when it comes to the taste factor. Baerbucha I have followed on Instagram and have read wonderful things about their product so hopefully I will get to try some and meet them in person.
Thanks, Shakeera! Stay tuned for more founder stories - we have many more to come!
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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.