Kombucha Kamp Blog

Kombucha Kamp 20th Anniversary: Happy Mother’s Day (A Message From The Kombucha Mamma)

Hannah and Alex, Founders of Kombucha Kamp

Happy Mother’s Day from the Kombucha Kamp Family! 💜

Mothers are the link from the past to the future. As the channel through which life flows, they hold a special place in our hearts.

While I’ve not been a mother to my own biological children, I have birthed and nurtured many microbes and humans through the broad range of activities that have dominated the bulk of my life.

This year is the 20th Anniversary of that very first Kombucha Kamp that I held in my small Los Angeles guesthouse. Those many many moons ago, I did not foresee this path that has been carved through my love of Kombucha. So if you will indulge me for a few moments, I’d like to reflect on that path and honor the many ways in which I am a mother.

Humble Beginnings

My first baby is Kombucha Kamp. Inspired by taking an Artist’s Way workshop in late 2003, through journaling, artists dates and the other exercises, I uncovered a deep desire to teach others about Kombucha. Kombucha showed up in my life in 2003 via a visit to San Francisco with an old college friend. I was intrigued and it was love at first sip – yet I was disappointed by the lack of quality information on the internet at that time. And my thirst quickly outgrew my budget, so I knew I had to do my own research, find my own culture and dive in headfirst.

So my very first experience as a mother was procuring my own SCOBY! I nurtured, studied, adored, cultivated and researched the heck out of my beloved Kombucha. I experimented with flavors, teas, techniques to create my own palate of beautiful flavors.

When I started teaching and sharing my Kombucha, the feedback was instant and that created much joy in my life and encouraged me to continue. By no means a profession, my hobby turned to side hustle and finally when others started asking if I had any SCOBYs to share, it grew into a business. Yet the flower of Kombucha Kamp wouldn’t flourish without the pollination of my husband’s participation.

we are a Human SCOBY

When my husband started seeking other opportunities for his two decades of on-set and behind-the-camera experience, we started shooting videos together. As interest grew and the timing was right, he learned HTML and how to manage an ecommerce business. Truly, it is Alex’s dedication that helped us grow Kombucha Kamp online. We also attended many in person events together, sharing samples, establishing the SCOBY petting zoo, educating at every opportunity we could find. The countless hours of sharing with others became the content for our website which in turn transformed into The Big Book of Kombucha which has sold over 400,000 copies around the globe and is translated into 6 languages.

changing the world, one gut at a time

My love of Kombucha was initially kindled by consuming commercially sold brews and so I tirelessly tracked any new producers or brands that would pop up on the web. I lovingly collected their links and posted them to the Kombucha Kamp website and even started a podcast (back in the early 2010s) interviewing Kombucha brewers because I wanted to spread their message of health, passion and love for our unique culture. 

When the Kombucha Crisis of 2010 hit, I had already been attending ExpoWest and BevNet to deepen relationships with the commercial industry. That relationship morphed into the 7 and 30 Day Kombucha Challenge that Alex and I hosted on social media in 2011 and 2012 and ultimately the challenges of being a healthy low alcohol beverage are what drove us to start KBI – Kombucha Brewers International – in 2014.

"Never Underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. in fact, its the only thing that every has." ~ Margaret Mead

Now I was wearing multiple Kombucha hats – I love bringing people together and growing community – it’s probably why Kombucha chose me to be her modern day champion, avatar and, humbly, her high priestess here to protect her traditional process while allowing space to evolve, adapt and change.

From the trade association emerged KombuchaKon, our annual conference bringing producers together to tackle the foundational issues such as: ethanol testing methods, lobbying Congress & Senate, adopting different fermentation techniques and production practices, and so much more. For an entire decade, I poured my energy into countless webinars, articles, informational documents in order to uplift my industry and educate regulators who simply didn’t understand our product.

I traveled the globe networking and educating to spread awareness and provide community to those crazy enough to have been bitten by the Kombucha bug and desired to improve the health of their local communities and beyond.

We established the Kombucha Code of Practice which enshrined the need to ferment and, while some purists would argue it’s too permissive in what we consider Kombucha… I think of it as a realistic framework that allows a variety of types and styles to be validated on the shelf because we simply do not have ENOUGH Kombucha in the world – too many people still have never heard of it!

We published SYMBIOISIS Magazine to document the growth of the industry where I served as editor and creative director. All while continuing to grow into a manufacturing facility for Kombucha Kamp.

Hannah & Alex's Brain Children Come to Life

return to harmony with nature

And it was almost too much – like too many babies all at once needing my attention!

And this is why I left my administrative role to return to my first love – my first family – YOU!

As a mother, we love all of our children and yet we also must let them grow into their own personalities. And that, in turn, is leading us to birth new educational courses and resources that I’ve yearned to create and didn’t have the energy to focus on. 

So I hope you will join me in celebrating Kombucha Kamp’s 20th Anniversary, this Mother’s Day! Join us on Instagram to share your experience and tell us how Kombucha has changed your life and health! And, if you find as much joy and beauty in bringing together cultures into one symbiotic whole – I would love to connect!

From the bottom of my heart: Thank you for 20 Years of Fun, Family, and Culture!

Peace, Love, and ‘Booch,

Hannah Ruhamah – The Kombucha Mamma

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