Hello Kombucha nation! This is Founder Interview number 6. Today, we are interviewing Náyade, a fellow Kombucha brewer from Galicia in northern Spain. She is the founder of Meraki Ferments. Enjoy the interview!
Meraki means doing something from or with the entire soul. So everything that we do has to be with the intention of devoting our time and energy to make something good. We are an artisanal brewer that seeks to use all ingredients from the region we are in (Galicia) or as close to the region as it can be, use printed glass bottles (plastic labels going away soon) and promoting a circular type of economy. We started selling in March 2019 and we currently have three flavors (Strawberry feelings - mint and strawberry; Beet Bomb - beet, basil and lemon; Limon & Panela - raw sugar cane and lemon). Our main audience are people in the ages of 35 and younger, who have traveled and are used to different flavors, vegetarians or that at least understand the importance of a diverse diet. We are very close to Santiago de Compostela and we are working to be the drink of the pilgrim (La bebida del Camino).
I (Naya) brewed kombucha at home back in Miami for 6 years. When we moved to Spain we saw a lack of companies making the product so we decided to try it in a region where no one was doing it: Galicia. The region has the best produce coming from organic farmers and the largest tea farm in continental Europe (currently working with them to get their tea for next year's production). We fell in love with the people and decided to create a brewery in a rural area, to create not only a high quality product, but also contribute to the creation of jobs.
We sell within Galicia (30 stores so far) and we would like to sell in Spain and Portugal. We have a 70sqm production facility and I am dedicated full time. Patrick works for Mastercard in London and travels back and forth.
There is a huge need in Spain for products other than conventional sodas and alcoholic beverages. In the Camino, for example, pilgrims love knowing there are a few places already selling our kombucha so they don't have to drink Coca-Cola, Gatorade or water all the way to Santiago. When you go to a Café, the variety is zero, so when people try Kombucha they are blown away by the flavor and the fact that it is alcohol-free. The way we see kombucha is that it is a low sugar drink that makes you happy and digest better. Socially, it allows you to go out without having to get an orange juice at 10pm because which is one of the few options if you go alcohol-free. This is a big change in Spain, that people can drink something healthy, which is beneficial for their digestive and immune system and that is also made here.
I would like to learn about better practices in production and also how to position yourself with distributors. Within 4 months of selling, I have been asked by 2 distributors to give them my product to distribute but I am not sure how to work with them. I am excited to meet the founder of Jarr since I love the brand. Also I would like to meet other Kombucha brewers in Europe as well and talk about their experiences.
Thanks, Náyade for your answers! You keep reading — we keep posting these interviews from the exciting world of Kombucha!
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