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Image: Chad Spencer

Aneta Lundquist and her husband, Eric, of Sarasota-based Kombucha 221 BC brew, bottle and wholesale seven flavors of kombucha—a fermented tea that's trending among the health-conscious—to some 400 Florida grocery and specialty stores, including Whole Foods and Richard’s Foodporium. (Aneta is the brewer, Eric is the business manager.) Aneta, a self-professed “hippie in heels,” says, “I have a huge passion for kombucha and what our product represents: living healthy and loving yourself.”

 GOOD FOR YOU 

“Kombucha is an ancient drink from Asia. The recipe is over 2,000 years old. That’s where our name came from—221 BC stands for ‘221 before Christ.’ We use high-quality organic tea leaves and sugar and ferment that in a culture, then add fresh-pressed, raw, organic unprocessed juices. It creates probiotics, enzymes, B vitamins. There’s a trace amount of alcohol—less than .5 percent—but it’s not considered an alcoholic beverage.” 

GROWTH MODE 

“We started small in December 2014 [by brewing] in tiny buckets and launched the product slowly. Now we have eight employees in our commercial kitchen and brewery here in Sarasota and we produce 40,000 bottles every month, which retail for $3.99 to $4.29 each. We keep growing; we’re heading toward another five states: North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama and Louisiana. We plan on building a national brand and tripling our production over the next year.”

 BE ACTIVE, BE HEALTHY 

“When I started doing this, I knew it would be big business. I want to make the world a more beautiful, healthier place. The people I hire for our sales team have the same mission and the same principles. [And] we use a lot of social media [to spread the message].”

 BK - BEFORE KOMBUCHA 

“We also are in the boat dealership business in Wisconsin, and I had a boat detailing company. We were snowbirds here for six years [before moving here full-time] because that is a seasonal business up North. Eric still goes back and forth.”

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