Profile: Tonica Kombucha, Toronto, Canada
Long before the ABC show Shark Tank featured of The Kombucha Shop in the USA, Dragon’s Den Canada hosted Zoey Shamai, the founder of Tonica Kombucha.
The show aired on December, 2015 and Zoey asked $125K for 25% of the company. If you live in Canada you can watch the show here, however, regulations prevent any of the rest of us seeing the original. But, the follow-up video from May 2016 is available on YouTube:
In this video, Zoey reports that in the six months since the show, she grew the company 400 percent, and went from shipping 9,000 cases to 50,000 cases. The company has enjoyed a 60 percent growth rate in recent years, with annual revenues of around $4 million. Available in over 2,000 stores across Canada and also in Whole Foods Markets in Chicago, Tonica is now one of the top three brands in Canada and the only one 100% owned by a woman.
A recent tweet confirms that she actually turned down the Dragon’s offer of funding, but that the show kick-started their growth.
Since Monday July 1st was Canada Day, it’s appropriate that Tonica celebrated this on Instagram.
Vision magazine reports that Tonica, based in Toronto, is on a roll:
Tonica’s distributor’s 52-foot trucks pull up to her 12,000+ square-foot facility, just outside of Canada’s biggest city, several times a week, loading full pallets of Tonica Kombucha bound for more than 2,000 retailers between the Maritimes and British Columbia. The new automated bottling line and equipment that Shamai installed this spring, are hard-pressed to keep up with growing demand. She’s counting on another line soon being in place.
They batch brew all of their product, fermenting in small batches for up to 60 days to ensure a strong, active base that they blend into the final product.
In addition to eight awesome flours, sold in 355ml and 1L bottles, Tonica also sells a DIY Kombucha Kit for customers who want to make their own ‘booch at home. Their website gives comprehensive instructions for the home brewer to follow.
Zoey celebrates how far she’s come since she (fortunately) turned down the funding back in 2015:
Here I am in this photo in one of our #kombrewery coolers last month. There is no way that if you asked my 2006 yoga teaching self where I’d be in 2019 that I’d have ever imaged I’d be standing here in this massive cooler that I owned (!!), but hey, here I am and it is awesome.
@kombuchabrewers #MemberMonday with Zoey Shamai of @tonicakombucha in Ontario, Canada!
Zoey first discover kombucha in 2004 while living at a Kundalini Yoga Ashram in New Mexico. Everyone was making their home brews and @synergykombucha was the only booch on the shelves in Wild Oats (now Whole Foods) back then! Zoey loved the immediate digestive boost she experienced with #kombucha and wanted to share it with friends and family. Upon launching #tonicakombucha, the response was so incredible that Zoey quit her day job as a yoga teacher and night job as a waitress, and the rest is history!
A saying Zoey lives by? “Let Love Rule. Believe. Receive. Flow.”