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Meet Chad Huniu of Fermensch Kombucha in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chad Huniu.

Chad, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I became fascinated with food and fermentation while living in the luscious green of Oregon. The power of microbes invisible to the eye to transform something from a humble cup of tea into a nutritive and probiotic powerhouse like kombucha was simply awe-inspiring to me.

So what started as an interest turned into an obsession and eventually a job. I worked as a line cook for a couple years, especially at Seabirds Kitchen in Costa Mesa, where chef-owner Stephanie Morgan helped me to realize my potential as a fermentor and creator.

When I decided to start Fermensch Kombucha, my father was also retiring from the family wheel and auto parts business. He decided he wanted to have another go at it and backed me. We were off running!

While I have always loved all kinds of funky and sour ferments, kombucha (AKA booch) really enamored me. It’s ability to be enjoyed at all times of the day. It’s endless creativity with flavoring. It’s potential to replace sugary sodas and soft drinks. But I noticed so many of the booches on the market were so intensely sour that it turned off my friends and family.

With Fermensch, I wanted to create a kombucha that tastes as good as it is for you. The more people that consume naturally fermented foods, probiotics, and gut-healthy organic acids the better our national health will be!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Haha! No.

Neither my father (Norman) or I had worked in the beer or beverage industry before this. Learning how to ferment on a larger scale, sourcing our stainless steel fermentation tanks, kegging, carbonation, how to serve our booch — it was days of hard work and discovery. Luckily, the local craft beer community was super generous and helpful, pointing us in the right direction every time!

On top of that, finding our brewing facility, getting approved by the health department, figuring out how to custom-build our brewing system, all why learning how to run a business for the first time at 24. Oy vey!

It was early mornings and many late nights. And still, I’d do it all over again if I had to.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fermensch Kombucha – what should we know?
At Fermensch Kombucha we pride ourselves in the drinkability of our booch.

We strive to make a kombucha that tastes as good as it is for you. It’s why we started by kegging our booch, keeping it fresh and bubbly every time it’s poured from the tap. We use 100% organic ingredients and painstakingly test our recipes before they hit the streets.

Every time we hear someone claim they “don’t like kombucha,” we give them a taste of our Bloom (a refreshing, mild mix of organic blueberries, lavender and chamomile). 99% of the time they are surprised and say, “Oh! That’s not bad!” And that makes our day.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
While I think persistence, the ability to get back on the horse, and creativity are all very important qualities, I think the thing that’s been most important to the success of Fermensch is actually the help of other people.

I have received unbelievable support from my father and business partner, Norman, but also from the rest of my family, friends, and those who blazed the trail before me. I am humbled by their generosity, advice, and helpful hands.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tara Deaton, Hannah Frendl

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