DANBURY, Conn. -- A personal passion has turned into a growing business for Danbury resident Liz Ceppos.
Ceppos and her husband, Ian, are the owners of Cross Culture Kombucha which was formed earlier this year. The two have been brewing this ancient drink for years at home and have long enjoyed its health benefits.
Kombucha, for those who don't know, is a fermented beverage made with a live culture created through SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) which transforms sweet tea into this growing-in-popularity drink, loaded with beneficial bacteria, antioxidants, vitamins and healthy organic acids.
Ceppos said kombucha is something she enjoyed at home -- until she lost her job a year ago and needed to think about her next step.
"We had noticed a lack of kombucha purchasing options in our area, especially any local brands, and that's when the lightbulb moment happened," she said. "We could be that company."
And so, with Ian as Head Brewer and her as chief salesperson, marketing head and overall organizer, the mom of two has found a new full-time gig.
So far the wholesale business -- they incorporated in January 2017 and got licensed by the state in May -- is in Mothership Bakery in Danbury, Danbury's new Pour Me Cafe, and -- by later this month, hope to be in Bar Bucha in Westport.
Cross Culture Kombucha, which comes in three flavors -- Original Green, Jasmine Green, and Earl Grey -- will also be a vendor at the Fairfield Farmers Market.
Ceppos hopes to grow, especially among cafes and natural food markets in the county and is looking at supplying caterers with kombucha for events. The husband and wife team also plan on expanding to other area locales as well as offering bottles for sales.
"We have the flexibility of selling our kombucha in five-gallon kegs, as well as in bottles and refillable growlers," explained Ceppos.
Flexibility is one benefit. Another -- and what makes them different -- aside from being brewed locally, said Ceppos, is that Cross Culture Kombucha's flavors are achieved by using different organic loose leaf teas at the beginning of the process. The company does not add juices at the end of fermentation to achieve different flavors as some other commercially available kombucha brands do.
More flavors are on the horizon, including limited edition ones and/or seasonal options. "We'll listen to the feedback from customers and go from there," said Ceppos.
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