Kombucha. Have you heard of it? This living, fizzy, probiotic tea beverage made from combining sweet tea with SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, for those in the know), is taking on the beverage industry like never before. Kombucha sales in the US grew by over 41% during 2016 with expected gains of 25% each year through 2024. While that is an interesting fact, what is more surprising is that most commercial kombucha is available through women-owned companies, like Humm Kombucha of Bend, Oregon.
Michelle Mitchell and Jamie Danek met in 2008. Michelle had learned kombucha brewing from her mother-in-law and she spent years perfecting her recipe. Jamie, who has a background in marketing, knew the moment she tried Michelle’s kombucha that she could sell it to anyone and everyone. In those early days, the company, known as Kombucha Mama, plied the Bend-area with kombucha in a Toyota Prius, milkman style. Customers would leave $20 and an empty gallon jar on the porch. Michelle would exchange the empty gallon jar for a full gallon jar and happily head to the next house. Jars became kegs, the Toyota Prius became a van then a truck. Michelle’s kitchen became a 5,000 square foot facility, and with this growth, came the core concepts of their business: inclusivity and heart-led leadership.
Source: Humm Kombucha
Why is it Called Humm Kombucha?
With these core concepts, Kombucha Mama began seeking a name that moved into inclusivity. Michelle and Jamie were inspired by their staff members, who were always humming as they worked to the rythm of their first-of-its-kind kombucha tap room. The “sound” of SCOBY was formed. They were led one fine day in April 2014 to their new moniker: Humm Kombucha. Humm embodies zeal and zest for life, and has become a culture all its own. Humm-sters are the self-named professionals that work at Humm and the people who drink Humm, share Humm and love Humm. The HummSquad are brand ambassadors, from Olympic athletes to cutting- edge musicians to artists of all media types.
Humm Kombucha has moved from the kitchen to the Wall Street Journal in nine short years. The onward and upward trajectory of Humm is carried out by all its stakeholders, but is stated best by Michelle during a TEDx event: “Imagine what it would be like if day after day and year after year you let your passions run your life.” It is obvious from Humm’s success story that Michelle Mitchell and Jamie Danek have an intense passion for kombucha, driven by highly active imaginations.
So, where do you like to drink Humm? Of the many different flavors, what is your favorite? Got a Humm recipe to share? Leave a comment below and we will happily share it with Humm! #whyisitcalledhummkombucha
Chloie Parsons is the Chief Creative Mind at C2C Designs. When she is not merrily building brands, you can find her painting, illustrating, kayaking the lakes, or at the river fly-fishing.”