Following the recent re-posting of the video where Stéphane Erler of Taiwan’s Tea Masters interviews STEALTH Naked Kombucha founder Ronald Chapdelaine and the follow-up profile of Tea Masters, this profile and podcast delves into the background of STEALTH Naked Kombucha.
It is marketed as a high-end beverage to connoisseurs with sophisticated palates. It is the result of decades of experience by Ronald, who began fermenting in the early 1990s, just as commercial kombucha emerged.
Marketing and Distribution
STEALTH has chosen to bypass the standard retail channels. A higher-priced drink than most brands, they focus their energy on corporate, universities, celebrities, professional sports teams, and direct-to-consumer sales. The growing list of venues they target includes chiropractic and physical therapy practices, gyms, fitness centers, major sporting stadiums such as Fenway Park, wedding venues, and food truck markets. Ronald specifically mentions Food Truck Paradise along Long Wharf in New Haven, CT. They’ve built the business to the level where they have almost 2,000 customers, each personally known to Ronald.
We offer free home delivery in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut and shipping to the lower 48 states of the USA. Enjoy 16 & 32 oz. bottles or 64 oz. growlers.
They rely on word of mouth rather than online advertising and social media. Indeed, the STEALTH Naked Instagram is unique in that it rarely features kombucha. Instead, it reflects Ronald’s art, culture, and history interests. As this small selection shows, he sees this as a way to engage with consumers who share his passions.
A quirky approach to social media is not all that differentiates this brand from others. Ronald claims that points of differentiation include:
- We don’t flavor, they flavor
- We cure, they don’t cure
- We document (on the bottle), they don’t
- We focus on pH, others don’t mention
- We use exclusively use bottled water, others don’t
- We use high-quality teas, others — who knows?
Much of this data is prominent on the label.
I’d interviewed Ronald for an article on supply chain challenges in the Spring edition of SYMBIOSIS, where he shared details of his lifelong background in trucking. His father owned a trucking business, and Ronald knows his 18-wheelers. This allows him to keep costs down and do his own distribution.
A creative solution to rising transport costs is taking charge of your shipping. Ron Chapeldine of Stealth Naked Kombucha (Wellesley, Massachusetts) keeps transportation costs down since he is a licensed truck driver who owns his own 1984 vintage Mack truck with a 53-foot trailer that holds 28 pallets. He transports the Essentia alkaline ionized water he uses for brewing 30 miles from Polar Beverage in Worcester, MA. He also makes 1,400-mile long-haul trips to collect glassware at Arkansas Glass in Jonesboro, AK. Ron also owns a 28 ft. second-hand van he bought from Penske for local distribution, complete with a Thermo King diesel reefer unit and rear hydraulic lift gate.
Essentia is an ionized alkaline living water.
Listen to the podcast to hear about STEALTH Naked kombucha.