Profile: Artizen Kombucha, Perth, Ontario, Canada
Artizen Kombucha was co-founded by Russian immigrant Daria (Dasha) Konstantinovna Smolentseva and her husband Sebastien Armand. It’s a thriving small-batch kombucha company rooted in the Ontario landscape, its community, and seasonal local ingredients. Their typical customers are young families interested in healthy options and a strong desire to support their local community. Dasha and Sebastien make sure to speak the language of these mainstay customers and serve their needs.
Dasha grew up drinking her grandmothers kombucha in Siberia, helping brew the “mushroom tea” when she was just seven years old.
They started their company in 2012 with the aim of bringing healthy food to the Ottawa region. Since 2016 they’ve focused exclusively on kombucha. They were encouraged by support from local government agencies, including a mentor from The Launch Lab.
In 2017 Daria organized the first and now annual gathering of Commercial Kombucha Brewers from Quebec, to Laurentian, to Prince Edward County in an effort to unite brewers and create a collaborative supportive craft kombucha culture.
Sebastien constantly refines and experiments with a wide variety of flavors.
Seven staple flavors are offered year-round: Tart Cherry, Lemon Ginger, Pomegranate Lemon, Wild Blueberry Grape, Hibiscus Lemon, Raspberry Hibiscus, Turmeric Zinger.
They offer Fall seasonal flavors on tap: Cherry Turmeric, Cranberry Apple, Apple Cinnamon, Turmeric Pineapple, Pumpkin Spice , HummingBird Chocolate, Sumac Lemon Thyme, Mango Turmeric , Maple Coffee, Mango Ginger, Matcha Kombucha, Raspberry Chai, Raspberry Chocolate
Their Spring / Summer seasonal flavors on tap include: Lilac Blossom, Spring Rejuvenate (high mountain oolong, mint, sage, dandelion root), Haskap Berry with Wild Blueberry, Raspberry Haskap, Royal Rhubarb, Strawberry Rhubarb, Strawberry Lime, Black Garlic, Black Garlic Chai, Mint Lime, Cucumber Lemon, Mango Turmeric, Raspberry Sangria, Black Currant Basil, Pink Lemonade, Watermelon Lime, Garden to Glass Series, Raspberry Mint, Blueberry Mint, Blackberry Cherry
North Folk Cafe Taproom
By creatively responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, they grew the business 30% this year despite the loss of wholesale accounts. They responded with Bubble and Bites food boxes which include kombucha along with a range of local foods. Their loyal following doubled-up on orders when the pandemic hit. When the opportunity arose, they opened their Cafe and Taproom. In addition to kombucha on tap and great coffee, they offer a wide variety of Bubbles and Bites food pairings, host workshops, and sell loose leaf teas.
To hear Dasha describe the origins of the company and the growing business in her own words, listen to the podcast.