>
 

Bookmark and Share

Kombucha Start-Up

This dynamic duo started the kombucha company, NessAlla.

By Lisa Kivirist, Urban Farm contributor

kombucha tea

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Kombucha is easy to make at home, and it keeps the cost of this delicious concoction down.

When you think about it, kombucha really is the ultimate in local food: Why should it be brewed anywhere else but right where it will be used? That’s exactly what friends Vanessa Tortolano and Alla Shapiro thought when then started NessAlla in 2008, a kombucha business based in Madison, Wis., brewing fresh kombucha designed to stay in the community.

Pioneer leaders in local kombucha brewing businesses, the duo offers advice for urban food-based entrepreneurs:

Appreciate your community
"It’s all about local for us,” explains Shapiro, a bubbly redhead with Russian roots and a kombucha-making grandmother. "We started NessAlla with the goal of empowering people in our community to take health and wellness in to their own hands.”

Be patient forging new territory
With innovative new businesses such as NessAlla, much time and effort needed to be put into educating various state agency and regulatory staff about what kombucha is and why it is safe to produce. "Patience and education went a long way for us,” Shapiro adds.

Educate your customers
NessAlla represents the growing number of food artisan companies that don’t play by traditional business models: Why would you teach your customers how to make the product you want to sell? But Shapiro and Tortolano have found that by selling kombucha-making kits and teaching workshops, an educated customer base that understands the kombucha making process are their best advocates and marketing champions.

Enjoy the ride
"We have too much fun,” Shapiro says. Both young mothers, the duo integrate their kids into their farmers market booth and love brainstorming new seasonal flavor combinations to add to their kombucha base, such as Lemongrass Ginger and Lavender Mint. Local deliveries are made in a colorfully painted Subaru dubbed the "Art Mobile.”

Give us your opinion on Kombucha Start-Up.
Submit Comment »
I give you lots of credit for following your kombucha muse! I want to learn to make it myself, instead of buying, but hope to find a workshop or such to get started. I'm not keen on buying supplies online and just trying it out, as I've never fermented anything before. Any suggestions if I can't find a class?
Jean, Framingham, MA
Posted: 2/24/2014 5:55:19 PM
Found to come in different flavors.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 7/16/2013 8:03:04 PM
greetings Urban Farm People,

Rezz yisrael is my name and i am a microbrewer of Kombucha for three years so far and i am in all sincerity brewing unlike anyone i have yet to meet anywhere on earth. why are so many of us using sugars? producing alcohols? there are many ways to cultivate brews without producing ANY alcohols... whatsoever that will stay free-flowing or resident in the brews. the methodology is so simple. i am one person and not making any pitch here for any particular group as oppose to any other now. my intention is to progressively evolve this magickal living Elixir and whole body Tonic, fixation-free!

anyone who is interested in collaborating for real,
please do contact me here: zirlah@yahoo.com and/or on facebook- you will find me by my name. Namaste!

ever humbly,
~Rezz
Rezz, washington, DC
Posted: 11/27/2012 10:36:48 AM

Featured Product

Dogscaping: Creating the Perfect Backyard and Garden for You and Your Dog | More Info »

Related Articles

Advertiser Links

Top Products
d
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Would you like to receive Farmer in the City Newsletters?X Close Window
Please provide us with your email address in order to access this valuable sustainable-living content.
Fields marked with an asterisk * are required.
* Are you at least 13 years old?
YesNo
* First Name:
* Last Name:
* Email:
* City:
* State/Province:
* Enter the code shown:

  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com.
In order to opt-out of our newsletters, you can click on the "unsubscribe" link in the bottom of the newsletter.
  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com partners.