The “booch” biz is booming and Tea-Biotics Kombucha is bottling growth with its first taproom in Missouri.
“We’re really pleased to be growing and also seeing new people, locals, coming in all the time,” said Lauren Klein, who oversees day-to-day operations at the kombucha startup’s latest taproom — the first to be brewed outside of its Jonhson County headquarters.
“Not everyone is wanting or willing to drive out to Olathe, so it’s great to see some of our customers out here and meet new people everyday,” said Klein.
An experiment already proving fruitful for Tea-Biotics, the location at 1607 West 39th St. — where taps began to flow in December — represents the company’s willingness to grow into a multi-faceted lifestyle brand.
“It’s really fun with this location — the opportunity for expansion and offering different things. We have a mushroom tea bar with a bunch of coffees, lattes, and elixirs,” Klein explained. “We hope to offer some different food options as well. We want to help people elevate their daily routine.”
Click here to shop Tea-Biotics Kombucha.
Flavors not always found in grocery stores — such as root beer, banana, and coffee — are on rotation at the taproom alongside the new products.
“There are so many different health trends [right now,] it’s hard for people to [understand] them,” Klein said, noting ways her background in kinesiology and previous work as a Tea-Biotics brand ambassador, positioned her to take the lead at the new location.
“I’ve always been interested in all things health and wellness, so I’m happy to share what I know.”
A woman-owned company founded by Lisa Bledsoe in 2011, Tea-Biotics has seen rapid growth in its wholesale distribution footprint in recent years and a growing popularity among locals — landing partnership deals with the likes of Hunter Dozier, third baseman for the Kansas City Royals, as well as contracts with the Kansas City Chiefs and Sporting KC.
Keeping women at the helm of Tea-Biotics operations has long been part of the startup’s mission and growth strategy as it looks to expand into new markets, Bledsoe previously told Startland News.
Click here to read more about the success of Tea-Biotics, one of Startland News’ Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2019.
The 39th Street taproom has benefited greatly from heavy foot traffic in the area near KU Medical Center, rich with retail shops and restaurants, Klein said, noting a boost from Chiefs’ party goers in recent weeks, all eager to try to Tea-Biotics limited edition “Super Booch” — decked out with labeling that honored the world champions.
“There was definitely a lot of energy in the city. The Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC — they all drink our products. So we thought, you know, why not make a limited edition one?” Klein said.
The Chiefs have been advocates for Tea-Biotics, keeping kegs on hand before games and in their practice facility, the startup’s leaders said.
As customers discover the new taproom, Tea-Biotics is tapping into a similar energy as the championship team.
“We’d definitely like to put [taprooms] in other places around the city and possibly see this as a franchise opportunity in other cities, once we have the right model,” Klein said of what the future could hold as the company begins to show signs of outward growth.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.