Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Kemboocha
Meet The Mom Of 5 Behind This Black-Owned Kombucha Brand
Queens native and Georgia resident Kemiko Lawrence has been brewing kombucha for the last 12 years. The mom of 5 came across the drink one day while grocery shopping for her family, and quickly became interested in it since it was something she wasn’t familiar with.
She bought a couple of bottles for her family to try and after getting their approval, she knew it was something that needed to be in her household. As opposed to spending the money to buy bottles for her entire family each shopping trip, Kemiko set out to do her own research and ultimately learn how to make the living probiotic herself.
“I looked up the benefits of kombucha and saw that it had actually been around for thousands of years,” Kemiko told Travel Noire. “It has only begun to hit mainstream markets in the Western Hemisphere in the last 10-15 years.”
Initially, Kemiko would only brew up bottles for her family and friends. She would literally give bottles away to those in and around her community, especially those within her homeschool community. Pretty soon people began asking her to brew bottles in exchange for payment because her kombucha was just that good.
It wasn’t until 2018, that Kemiko officially launched Kemboocha.
“It was all a very organic experience. More and more people started asking for it, and it got to a point that I could no longer take orders manually. So I created an official website.”
The name of the brand, Kemboocha, is a way for Kemiko to self-identify with the beverage. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is also very temperamental. The brewing time has to be just right for the taste to be perfect. According to Kemiko, if you over brew, your drink will taste like vinegar.
“It’s a live probiotic,” Kemiko said. “When you’re dealing with something that is live, you have to get it some TLC. You have to have a lot of love within you. Kombucha is designed to taste good. If done right, it has great flavor.”
In addition to being a probiotic which is good for your gut health, Kombucha is good for your liver, skin, hair, and nails.
Kemiko creates several flavors within her brand and her current line is called “Goddesses of the Galaxy.” As a nature lover and yoga teacher, Kemiko loves learning about moon cycles. She also believes that all Black women are truly goddesses.
Within the Goddesses of the Galaxy line, you’ll find sun goddess (mango, pineapple, ginger, turmeric), star goddess (a natural flavor with a tangy-sweet taste), earth goddess (mixed greens, cucumber, celery, and ginger), and moon goddess (blueberry, elderberry, acai, and ginger). You can currently purchase Kemboocha via the brand’s website as well as smaller grocers in and around the Atlanta area. Once things settle down with COVID-19, Kemiko has plans to expand into other retailers.
If you are interested in learning how to make your own kombucha, Kemiko offers virtual classes that will walk you through the steps via a home brewing kit that she sends you.
We asked Kemiko to give advice to aspiring Black business owners, here’s what she said:
“Be unapologetically who you are! Choose a brand that represents who you are. If you don’t know something, look it up. Don’t give up simply because you don’t know You are good enough and deserve to own businesses too.”