“Inspiring a Beautiful Evolution”– Happy Culture Kombucha
THE HAPPY CULTURE KOMBUCHA STORY
Happy Culture Kombucha is a local Cape Town based proudly South African company that produces an exciting range of live and sparkling, raw and living, 100% natural Kombuchas. Founders Manon Colmant and Mark Jones started Happy Culture in 2017 when they decided to fuse their passion for health, wellness, happiness and bubbles. It has since flourished into a revolutionary movement where they wish to inspire, empower, and support others on their path to living a healthy and happy life – Together contributing towards a beautiful collective evolution.
Drawing on their Cap Classique and Champagne backgrounds, Happy Culture Kombucha creates brews which are beautifully balanced on the palate, with a delicate, but lively effervescence – offering you the very best of EVERYTHING!
We caught up with Happy Culture founders and change-makers in their own right, Manon and Mark to chat about all things Happy Culture, their inspiration behind this influential brand, what motivates them to live a healthy and happy life and inspire others to do the same, as well as what exciting things we can expect from Happy Culture in the future!
You have managed to get Happy Culture Kombucha into a variety of stores across South Africa, many of which are major players in the retail market (especially Pick n Pay) –Massive congratulations on that! It truly is a remarkable achievement! How did you accomplish what many brands, especially start-up brands, would consider close to impossible? Was it a ‘shoot for the stars and hope for the best’kind of situation or did you have a detailed execution plan and goal strategy in place to achieve these targets?
Because we had to build our own scalable and certified manufacturing plant, we had to make some solid investments upfront and therefore needed to ensure that good growth would follow in order to make ends meet, so yes, we did go in with shooting for the stars, but with an exciting growth strategy and execution plan in place (although as with most things, reality turns out to be wildly different from the plan).
How, if at all, have you seen people’s perspectives and mindsets change over the years towards products like Kombucha? Which was considered somewhat of an ‘out there’ product when it first came onto the market.
Our mission was to make kombucha more available, more accessible, more delicious, and more exciting to the South African market. Essentially our goal is to make kombucha more conveniently available and accessible to a greater portion of the market, while offering a product that is delicious to the taste buds, offers authenticity, quality and abundance of goodness, and packaged in a way that is fun and exciting. We definitely have seen this vision unfold beautifully, however there is still a lot of untapped potential which we look forwards to exploring in the coming years.
HAPPY CULTURE KOMBUCHA CREATIONS
Happy Culture’s live and sparkling kombuchas are available in a rainbow of flavours and aromatic sensations in both 340ml and 850ml 100% recyclable PET bottles. Kombucha’s gut-loving probiotics, organic acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and digestive enzymes all work together to improve the body’s natural gut flora, boost immunity and vitality, detoxify the body and promote physical and mental wellbeing.
All Happy Culture’s Kombuchas are:
- Raw & living
- Low in sugar <4g/100ml
- 100% Natural
- Made with mineral water
- Made with Organic Green Tea
‘We have chosen to use a 100% green tea base, which leads to a style that is fresh, clean and elegant. We use mineral water and high-quality ingredients to ensure our cultures stay healthy and happy, resulting in delicious tasting ferments. All our brews are true to this signature style and each blend offers a unique expression of flavour and aromatic sensations.’
– Mark and Manon ( Founders of Happy Culture Kombucha)
Happy Culture’s Kombuchas are available in 6 unique and down-right delicious flavour combinations which include:
- Cucumber & mint
- Ginger & lemon
- Pineapple & lime
- Rooibos chai
- Raspberry & hibiscus
- Blueberry & basil
The fun Kombucha flavour combinations don’t end there – Happy Culture recently launched two exciting new Kombucha products – Zesty Energy and Cherry CBD! Zesty Energy is a Live & Fizzy Kombucha, infused with natural citrus, guarana, and ginseng extracts. Cherry CBD is a Live & Fizzy Kombucha, naturally infused with a cherry burst and CBD oil. Be sure to give these two new trail-blazing Happy Culture products a try!
Happy Culture is always brewing and dreaming up new and exciting creations and thrilling flavour combinations – Make sure you stay up to date with all the latest Happy Culture action, updates and new releases to avoid missing out!
How do you guys see Happy Culture Kombucha growing & expanding in the future? What are the next big steps for Happy Culture & are there any new products or initiatives you are excited to launch in 2020 that people can look forward to?
We have some exciting product innovations in the pipeline, all with the common thread of containing living goodness intended to support people’s wellbeing and spread happiness. As well as impassioned plans for packaging diversification and optimisation in such a way to continuously minimise our impact on the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. We don’t want to give too much away, but all we can say is, watch this space for some exciting new products that will be available soon!
HAPPY CULTURE ONLINE SHOP!
To spread the Happy Culture Kombucha love as far and wide as possible, they recently launched an online shop fully stocked with all their enriching, live & sparkling Happy Culture Kombuchas as well as some amazing offers! This means you can now get all 6 unique Kombucha flavours as well as their newly released Zesty Energy and Cherry CBD delivered straight to your door! To further add to the excitement, Happy Culture is offering FREE DELIVERY within two working days in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria regions.
The following delivery options are available on the Happy Culture Kombucha Online Shop:
**Important delivery information: Free delivery within 2 working days | Delivery available in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria regions only | Visit Happy Culture Kombucha’s Online Shop to place your orders!
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE HAPPY CULTURE KOMBUCHA
The passion behind Happy Culture Kombucha is based on four guiding principles:
♥︎ Living goodness – All Happy Culture Kombucha’s products are bubbling with living probiotics and goodness to support gut health and overall wellbeing.
♥︎ Authenticity – Absolutely no short cuts are taken when it comes to the production, processes or ingredients used in their products. At Happy Culture they pride themselves on only using the highest quality, raw and natural ingredients and following authentic methods when producing their products.
♥︎ Quality – Manon and Mark are passionate about creating products that are as abundant in deliciousness as they are in goodness and quality. You can rest assured that every Happy Culture Kombucha product you receive is the very best in both quality and taste
♥︎ Innovation – Happy Culture’s main aim is to have a positive impact on people and their lives by producing an enriching selection of handcrafted products filled with goodness to elevate the lives of those who enjoy its wonders. All their products are specially crafted to support overall health and wellness and share happiness with the world – all while minimizing their carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
There is no denying the fact that in today’s crowded market-place clients have choice. In your opinion, what sets Happy Culture Kombucha apart from all the other brands out there within your field – What makes Happy Culture different and a step above the rest?
In terms of our products, we pride ourselves on making use of our own unique signature style which is fresh, clean, and beautifully balanced products with low sugar (dry), combined with an elegant effervescence – a style which is entirely authentic to us, commercially accessible and offers a very harmonious, happy experience to the taste buds. Being based in the Cape Winelands, away from the buzz of the city, we also have the incredible advantage of having access to beautiful mineral water straight from the earth, fresh air in abundance and a peaceful environment for our cultures to thrive and flourish and become what we love to call ‘happy cultures’.
We definitely feel that all these elements have a profound positive impact on the quality of our ferments. In terms of our brand, Mark and I have both been blessed to have done a lot of work on our personal evolutions and growth. And through this, we feel incredibly inspired and enthused to assist in inspiring, motivating and supporting other people’s evolutions, which is something we feel adds a special sparkle and touch to our brand.
You’ve grown Happy Culture into something pretty incredible! What was the most challenging part about starting your own business from the ground up in the field of health, wellness and nutrition? A field that can often be filled with a lot of criticism, harsh judgements and tons of misconceptions and pre-conceived beliefs. Did you guys have to deal with a great deal of criticism and backlash from people in the field?
Having to be a pioneer in the growth of the category in the market, while also growing a new brand which does not already have an existing following and networks to leverage off, has been a very interesting challenge. We have had to forge our own path into unexplored spaces and territories, essentially cruising‘off the beaten track’, while attempting to expand and inspire shifts in consumer mindsets. And of course, in the back end, figure out how to scale and optimise the production of a live product. All while maintaining and ensuring optimal product quality, compliance and consistency. In addition to all of that, there is the important element of ensuring tight control over the cold chain distribution nationwide, which has been a big challenge for us. As any issues here, cause undesirable effects in product quality and customer experience. But thankfully we’ve managed to maintain control over all these unpredictable aspects.
THE BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA & HOW IT CAN HELP YOU
There has been a significant rise world-wide as it pertains to gut health and the impact it has on the human body – with kombucha being at the forefront of it all. So much so that this fermented tea has already made the list as one of the top 2020 food trends.
As the gut plays an integral role in our overall health and wellbeing, influencing everything from our digestion to our mood, brain health, inflammation and immune function, Kombucha has firmly positioned itself as a major role player in helping people achieve an optimal state of health, wellness and happiness.
According to Mark and Manon, a healthy gut is the key to a healthier and happier life! They are firm believers that you should have a holistic and integrative approach when you’re looking to optimise your gut health – This is exactly where Happy Culture Kombucha bridges the gap.
“Our kombucha is bubbling with living probiotics which support the body’s natural gut flora, and therefore overall physical and mental wellbeing”
– Mark and Manon (Founders of Happy Culture Kombucha)
Here are just some of the incredible health-promoting properties found in Happy Culture’s range of Kombuchas:
- Gut-friendly cultures
- Organic acids
- Digestive enzymes
- Vitamins B & C
WHAT IS KOMBUCHA?
Kombucha is a fizzy probiotic tea, crafted using an ancient Eastern tradition. A sweet tea undergoes a unique fermentation process when combined with a live culture of healthy bacterias and yeasts. The result is a naturally living drink which is filled with an abundance of goodness to uplift one’s overall state of wellbeing and health. A SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is used in the production of Kombucha. The SCOBY essentially acts as a living home for the bacteria and yeast family that transforms the sweet tea into a tangy, fizzy Kombucha. The end product is not only delicious, but boasts a variety of beneficial properties.
HAPPY CULTURE’S SECRET TOUCH TO ELEVATE THE MAGIC OF THE ANCIENT ALCHEMY
SCOBYs are incredibly sensitive to their environment. The air they breathe, the sounds around them, the water and nutrients from which they feed all influence these living cultures. As a result, Happy Culture LOVES their SCOBYs and take great pride in caring for them in a manner that ensures optimal deliciousness and goodness-filled ferments. This is only one of the things that gives Happy Culture an edge over their competitors.
As Happy Culture’s production home is in the heart of the beautiful Cape Winelands, their SCOBYs are blessed with an abundance of fresh mountain air and a source of clean mineral water. This ultimately creates a happy home and enriching environment for the SCOBY as well as the creation of their products.
Happy Culture’s SCOBYs are surrounded by a whole lot of love and good vibrations too. They play 432Hz Reiki healing music to their cultures 24 hours a day as well as make use of Himalayan salt lamps to further purify the air. This creates an optimal environment for their cultures to flourish and thrive and become what they love to call ‘Happy Cultures’!
“We are passionate about crafting products of top quality, using the best natural ingredients and authentic processes, optimised by a scientific approach and modern technology”
– Mark and Manon (Founders of Happy Culture Kombucha)
HAPPY CULTURE KOMBUCHA PACKAGING
With the global plastic pollution problem becoming an increasing threat, it has become more important than ever before for brands and companies to pay careful consideration to the type of packaging they choose to use.
As conscious consumers and planet lovers, Happy Culture found it incredibly difficult to choose the right type of packaging for their products. They needed a packaging solution that supported their vision to make kombucha more accessible to the market, while driving a much-needed evolution in the world of beverages. More importantly, they wanted a packaging solution that endorsed their desire to minimise their carbon footprint and enforce their environmentally conscious mission.
At first, PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) was not Happy Culture’s first choice when deciding on what packing to use for their products. However, after some in-depth research and consideration, Mark and Manon realized that PET is a far more sustainable packing solution than they initially thought – and that it may be the best suited option available for them to realize the Happy Culture vision.
When assessing the environmental impact of packaging, it is key to understand the impact across the product’s entire life cycle – from production to disposal. PET uses significantly less energy across its life cycle than other beverage packaging alternatives. This in turn reduces a variety of environmental impacts. PET is also inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant, highly recyclable and has a lower carbon footprint.
What is Happy Culture Kombucha doing to optimise the sustainability of their packaging?
- Ensuring 100% recyclability: Designed with a circular economy in mind, all Happy Culture’s bottles are compatible with the recycling infrastructure in South Africa and are ready to be converted into new products made from rPET.
- Driving awareness to the global plastic pollution problem & recycling as a whole: Happy Culture Kombucha is fully committed to using their platform to communicate the importance of recycling to their audience across South Africa and beyond as well as helping to drive the recycling culture in the country.
- Happy Culture is a Committed Member of PETCO: PETCO is the South African PET Recycling NPC. Along with its members, PETCO is passionately devoted to driving PET recycling in South Africa.
- In 2020, Happy Culture Kombucha will start to introduce rPET into their bottles. They will also be one of the first brands in the country to join the bottle2bottle movement for carbonated beverages. Happy Culture is incredibly excited to start supporting organisations that drive positive change through donations!
FOUNDED FROM LOVE, FOR LOVE
“Happy Culture was born in Cape Town in 2017 when we fused our passion for health, happiness and bubbles. Our wish: for our products to spread happiness far and wide and contribute towards the evolution of the human species to a higher vibration, a world of peace, love and connectedness. We are honoured to share the wonders of living foods and gut health with you. Thank you for joining us on this journey towards a continuously evolving, ‘happy culture’.”v
– Mark and Manon (Founders of Happy Culture Kombucha
What inspires you to continuethis journey of encouraging, inspiring, empowering and informing others about the wonders of living foods and gut health? And the positive impacts it can have on your overall health, wellbeing and happiness.
We believe that only once someone is truly shining within, can they really step into their own power, start to share their gifts with the world, and start the process in living a deeply connected, conscious and meaningful life and contribute positively to the world. We believe that everyone has the potential to shine bright, and so we wish to assist people in their journey towards a harmonious, happy life by providing living goodness for their living body to help them thrive. Through our products, we thus wish to contribute towards a beautiful evolution for all, on an individual level and as a collective.
What personally motivates you to get up every morning and choose to live a healthy and happy life and continue to do so every day? Do you have a quote, mantra, power phrase or influential piece of advice that keeps you powering forward? And if so, what is it?
Very simply, life is more beautiful, meaningful and enjoyable when you feel good. I think everyone can agree on that. Our bodies are absolute miracles that provide us with so much opportunity and ability, and once we awaken to this and begin to love and honour them as a gift, there is no looking back – there is so much to be gained from it.
CONNECT WITH HAPPY CULTURE KOMBUCHA
- Location: Happy Culture Kombucha, Cape Winelands, ERF 1337, Simondium, Western Cape
- Contact Details: [email protected] | 0833975961
- Instagram: @happyculture_kombucha
- Facebook: @HappyCultureKombucha
- Website: www.happyculture.co.za
You can also find Happy Culture Kombucha at the following outlets around South Africa:
- Wellness Warehouse (All stores nationwide)
- Pick n Pay (Select Pick n Pays around the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Northern Cape)
- Spar (Select Spars around The Cape, Garden Route, KwaZulu Natal, Johannesburg and Pretoria)
- Oumeul Bakery & Café
- Faithful to Nature (View online)
- Vida e caffé (Western Cape only)
- Food Lover’s Market (All stores in the Western Cape & select stores in KwaZulu Natal)
- Organic Zone Fruit & Vegetables
- A whole lot of awesome delis, bakeries, health shops, coffeeshops, convenience stores, and restaurants around the country