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Two Sacramentans are looking to bring a kombucha bar to the Midtown space that formerly housed Hina’s Tea by the end of July, if they can raise $50,000 via the Internet to launch.
The drink, which is carbonated through a fermentation process, contains probiotics and a living culture, co-owner Joseph Melrose said, adding that the probiotics are good bacteria that typically are absent in the average American diet.
“It really works to helping with everything from irritable bowel syndrome to bad hair and bad skin,” he said. “People have been drinking it for 2,000 years for its health benefits.”
Kombucha Kulture will not brew its own kombucha – a fermented tea drink – but stock about 10 flavors from at least four suppliers in or around the Bay Area, co-owner Brianne Giatras, 26, said.
Flavors range from gingerberry and elderberry to a milder vanilla and honey concoction Giatras said has the best mass-market appeal.
The 16-ounce glasses of kombucha will run about $3 or $4 on average, with some possibly being around $5, Giatras said. No food will be made in-house, but she said she wants to have premade sandwiches and baked goods on offer.
Melrose, 32, said kombucha can be an acquired taste – similar to starting with a light beer before acquiring a taste for a heavy stout – and people coming into the future business will be able to sample different flavors.
Kombucha on tap isn’t a unique idea, but Melrose said the only place he knows of to get it locally is Whole Foods in Folsom, and he and Giatras want to bring it to the central city.
“It’s much fresher tasting on tap,” Giatras said.
During this week’s Second Saturday Art Walk, Kombucha Kulture will set up at Denim Spot, 1050 20th St., to serve samples.
The problem Melrose and Giatras had when looking to start the business was finding a bank to front them approximately $50,000 needed to turn the former Hina’s Tea space at 2319 K St. into a kombucha bar.
Giatras said that is when they turned to Kickstarter, an online funding mechanism that allows anyone to put up financial backing to businesses they support.
“What we’re doing with the Kickstarter campaign is trying to raise the funds to get a lease going on the building on K Street,” Giatras said. “There’s some construction that has to be done, but it’s pretty much built out for what we need.”
Half of the $50,000 will go to equipment such as a tap system, refrigeration and an espresso machine. Another $8,000 is designated to go to construction costs, $7,500 will go toward the lease and deposit, $5,000 goes to Amazon and Kickstarter as part of the fundraising policy, and $4,500 will go to purchasing the products.
The deadline to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter is May 17, and so far the couple has raised more than $2,300, but Giatras said the campaigns tend to pick up as the deadline nears.
Another local business recently received funding via Kickstarter to produce unique bicycle racks. Click here to read more.
If the campaign is successful, Giatras said, she hopes to have the space open for business in late July. If the money isn’t raised, she said she and Melrose aren’t planning on giving up, but will continue saving money to eventually move forward with the business.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.