Travelers along 6th Avenue may have noticed a new storefront where the popular Ice Cream Social used to be located at 2914 6th Ave. Scheduled to open for busi- ness next month, Komadre Kombucha will be Tacoma’s first kombucha taproom offering this fermented tea bev- erage made locally by owner Julie Davidson.
Known for its multitude of health benefits, kombu- cha gives our bodies the healthy bacteria needed for gut health, improved digestion and reduced inflammation. It can kill harmful microorganisms and reduce growth of bad bacteria, and its powerful antioxidants act as natural cleansers of harmful toxins.
It is not touted as the best tasting stuff, though, when served plain in its natural state.
“Kombucha was something I tried when I was living in
the San Francisco Bay area over 10 years ago and I hated it. I thought that stuff was nasty and I didn’t have any interest in trying it again,” Davidson said. Suffering with digestive health problems, she was eager to find something to help her that did not come from a pharmacy.
“I didn’t want to be reliant on big pharma or pay the price of side effects of certain pharmaceuticals that were offered to me over the years. Eating clean and finding food-based solu- tions for my health issues has been a quest for almost 25 years.”
Turning to her Cuban and Panamanian roots, the foods and beverages her family enjoyed in their Latino household proved to be the key to Davidson’s improved health and vitality.
“I started brewing my own kombucha several years ago and combining the probiotic benefits of this tea with flavors that I grew up with like pineapple and pas- sion fruit. That helped me turn the corner.”
Through Davidson’s special recipe, mixing kombu- cha with a range of delicious fruit flavors sets Komadre Kombucha apart from all the others. Even though kom- bucha is fermented, Davidson’s contains only a trace amount of residual alcohol, making it a nice alternative for those looking to take a few “dry days” and still have a tasty beverage that can help offset the negative effects of alcohol, including hangovers.
Davidson initially launched Komadre Kombucha online, building a website and offering free delivery ser- vices locally. To expand her business, she sought to open a taproom – then along came COVID. She was forced to close her longtime consulting business because of the pandemic and had to put her storefront on pause with the state being shut down. Turning to the crowdfund- ing platform IFundWomen.com, donors, her friends, family and business associates provided her with fund- ing for all the physical renovations and improvements needed at her new shop. She also learned that help was on its way through Comcast.
“One of the beautiful things about IFundWomen is that it provides links and opportunities to apply for oth- er funding and grants. The Comcast RISE program was one of the many that I applied for,” she said.
Comcast RISE (Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment) was formed last year spe- cifically for small businesses owned by Black, Indige- nous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Since last Novem- ber, approximately 100 entrepreneurs in Washington state have been selected as awardees. To date, the pro- gram has named nearly 2,500 BIPOC businesses in 34 states as Comcast RISE recipients. Of these, 2,000 receive a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or con- sulting services from Effectv, or computers equipment, Internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business. Visit www.ComcastRISE.com to apply, for more informa- tion and the latest updates.
Thinking that she probably wouldn’t be chosen from among the hundreds of Washington state applicants, Davidson was delighted when she received email con- firming that she had been selected as a Comcast RISE grant recipient. Comcast Business will be providing her with a state-of-the-art technology upgrade that in- cludes computer equipment and installment, Internet and voice, support and security monitoring for a year.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Davidson said. “I didn’t know how I was going to stay afloat, to hire people, promote this company and afford the technology and the services that will allow my company to succeed during COVID. Comcast is going to be an essential part of being able to keep Komadre Kombucha in front of customers and stay nimble no matter what comes our way.”
Komadre Kombucha is scheduled to open to the public toward the middle to end of next month. The taproom will serve a nice variety of flavors, and plain kombucha as well, and customers can also create their own customized flavor profiles. Edible treats will be on the menu too – sweet empanadas, energy bars and cookies from Davidson’s family recipe vault.
In the meantime, Davidson is selling her kombucha products at the Tacoma Farmers Market on Broadway (Thursdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and through the market’s Fresh Express mobile market at six different locations. Visit TacomaFarmersMarket.com to learn more.
If you have not yet tried Komadre Kombucha, you can place a one-time order at KomadreKombucha. com for a four pack of 16-ounce teas delivered to your door within the 253 area code. Additional subscription options offer one-month, three-month and one-year memberships.
At its 6th Avenue taproom, Komadre Kombucha will feature local Latinx artisans and craftspeople to show- case and sell their variety of handmade jewelry, art and more.
“A big element of my business model is always going to be collaborating with and giving back to the local community,” Davidson said. An alum of University of Puget Sound and a founding member of the university’s Latino student organization, opportunities to support student leaders, BICPOC leaders and local artisans is embedded in every level of Komadre Kombucha.
Tacoma Weekly – Written by Matt Nagle