BEND, OR -- Kombucha continues to gain mainstream popularity, but with that growth comes one big problem for a local company. Bend-based Humm Kombucha is now in 18 states, including as the official kombucha of the Seattle Seahawks.
Co-Founder Jamie Danek says they signed this week to lease a 31,000 square foot building on Brinson Boulevard in northeast Bend, tripling the size of their current manufacturing facility. She tells KBND News, "We just hired our 40th staff and we’re probably going to add another 20 this year – 15 to 20, maybe more, I’m not really sure yet. And, this will enable us to at least hit half of the country. The plans are to go national by 2017."
The new building needs to be renovated before Humm Kombucha can move in larger brewing and bottling equipment. "The taproom stays where it is; the retail part for the consumer stays where it is and doesn’t move. The only thing that’s moving is that we’re increasing our operations and increasing our bottling facility. So, the bottling facility will move to Brinson. We will likely no longer be bottling on Second Street
Danek says the move is necessary given the growing popularity of their brand, and that of the fermented tea beverage, in general. "It is broadening out this past year or two; it’s definitely getting more mainstream. But our goal and our focus has always been the 90% of the people that don’t shop in health food stores. We’re in Whole Foods and we love the health food stores, but our target is really the general public. So, for us, really thinking outside the box and figuring out how to talk to the general public and how to explain to them and educate them on Kombucha."
She expects they'll be ready to move into the new facility by fall.