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Founder of Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha: ‘The Rules and Regulations Are Complex’

The Dodgers won the World Series, and they’ve been drinking this kombucha for three years. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not! Lore says that jun kombucha was brewed in Tibet as an elixir for enlightenment and was used by warriors for energy. Whether or not you believe in its mystical power, Whole Foods did include this brand as one of the top hard kombuchas of 2021. So what exactly is kombucha? And how does one make their brand a rising star on the kombucha scene? Let’s hear from the founder of Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha and our featured entrepreneur, Holly Lyman. One of her great inspirations has been Sandor Katz, a “fermentation revivalist.” The most important lesson he taught her? “There are no rules in fermentation.” But when you launch a beverage brand, you find nothing but rules.

How jun kombucha stands out among others

What’s the big deal about kombucha? Doesn’t wine hold the prize as #1 favorite fermented drink? Usual kombucha is made with black tea and sugar, and it offers many natural health benefits because of its probiotics. Jun kombucha is made with green tea and honey, and it also has dozens of different strains of yeast and bacteria, probiotics and prebiotics. But with the honey, you also get natural flavonoids, which have their own ways of boosting our health. Most kombucha drinks have strong vinegar overtones, but this jun is called “the champagne of kombuchas” because of its lighter profile.

Food and drink entrepreneurs have hoops to jump through

Hard kombucha (kombucha with higher alcohol content) is one of the top trends for 2021, and Wild Tonic made the list. So, with this drink gaining traction in our culture, you may expect more brands to pop up. But Lyman says the regulations around making food are complicated. With her brand, she used the popular approach of “trial and error.” With the FDA, TTB and more, she found that there were more than enough hoops to jump through. Her biggest wish for young entrepreneurs? A complete how-to handbook on all of the boxes to check!


For more insight from our Featured Entrepreneurs, check this out.

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