Featured in University of Puget Sound magazine, Arches

By Zoe Brach ’18 | Photos by Sy Bean

In March 2020, Julie Davidson ’96 made a pivot. A certified facilitator, coach, and consultant—and president and CEO of her own consulting company, The JD Group— Davidson started to see her contracts dry up as employees were sent home in the early days of the pandemic. So, she leaned into a hobby: kombucha brewing.

“I started to brew more kombucha than my family and I could drink,” says Davidson, who’s been tinkering with recipes at home for years to make herself the perfect fermented beverage. “I thought, I guess this is my opportunity to take all the limitations that we’re feeling and create an opportunity.” The result was Tacoma’s first kombucha taproom, Komadre Kombucha, which opened on 6th Avenue in May 2021. Davidson’s kombucha concoctions are locally brewed, use in-season ingredients from her partnerships with local farms, and are inspired by her Latinx heritage—resulting in unusual flavors like pineapple ginger and strawberry mojito.

NEW VENTURE  Julie Davidson ’96 opened Tacoma’s first kombucha taproom, Komadre Kombucha, in May 2021.

While most people might not see a pandemic as an ideal time to start a brick-and-mortar business, Davidson says she’s grateful for the experience— it’s made her and her business model more resilient. It helps, too, that Davidson’s childhood dream was to open her own shop. That passion, she says, and Komadre Kombucha’s community-centered mission, are what drive the business. “Relationships are everything,” she says, and that belief shines through in Komadre Kombucha’s mission and values. “The name Komadre comes from the Spanish word for someone you consider to be part of the mothering circle around your own family. Those are the kinds of relationships we want to forge.”

One way she’s building community is by partnering with Tacoma Farmers Market’s Fresh Express Mobile Market to distribute kombucha throughout the city. She also brought some of the brew to Puget Sound’s welcome event for returning sophomores in August. And her shop offers a discount to Loggers, in hopes that Komadre Kombucha will become “a treasured hangout for the university community, as well as the broader 253.”

To see the article go to: https://www.pugetsound.edu/stories/6th-avenue-brewer