Profile: ROY Kombucha, Berlin, Germany
This is the fourth in a series of Profiles of Berlin-based kombucha brewers, which I scheduled around the weekend Kombucha Summit. I was not able to visit ROY at that time, but on my return to California, I made contact with Fabio from ROY Kombucha, and we spoke on the phone about his business and his role in producing the Kombucha Summit.
Fabio Carlucci grew ROY Kombucha from a kitchen counter in 2019 to an international brand with a 60,000 cans a month capacity. He has also spun off the Kombucha Brewing Kit subsidiary for home brewers and launched the annual Berlin-based Kombucha Summit.
ROY was founded in 2019 with the aim of creating a new generation of beverages. The project began in 2018 when Fabio and his serial entrepreneur co-founder Rupert started looking at the potential of a business built on fermented products. After experimenting with water kefir, they pivoted to kombucha. They started in a 20 sq meter (200 sq ft) kitchen, canning by hand. In 2021 they moved to the 120 sq meter (1,300 sq ft) facility they are in today.
Their initial facility allowed them to produce 10,000 cans a month (by hand!), and they now have a capacity of 50-60,000 cans. They employ 12 full-time and several part-time staff.
From the start, they enjoyed a demand from Berlin cafes and restaurants. They now distribute throughout Germany as well as other EU counties as far away as Ireland.
The decision to start with cans, and a shelf-stable formula, enabled e-commerce and export with lower shipping costs.
Kombucha Brewing Kit
During the first COVID lockdown they pivoted to e-commerce and took advantage of the interest in home cooking of everything from banana bread to kombucha. In October 2022, they launched the Kombucha Brewing Kit as a stand-alone company with a German-language website and Instagram that offers home brewing kits and advice.
They brew a shelf-stable organic kombucha that is naturally refreshing, made with the highest-quality teas, and full of organic acids and B vitamins.
Their cans are available in Ginger, Raspberry, Lemon, and Pure Prana flavors, and a changing line-up of limited editions.
During the four months they were waiting for the commercial kitchen to open, they turned their attention to the need for a European-based kombucha gathering. They organized the first Summit in 2019 and then held virtual events in 2020 and 2021. The 2022 Summit was the second in-person event. My extensive reports give full details on past events.
Listen to the podcast to hear the story of ROY Kombucha and the Kombucha Summit in Fabio’s own words.