Rumor has it North Limestone is home to some of the best local hidden treasures in Lexington. After visiting Thrive Kombucha, we’re convinced it is.
Never heard of kombucha? It’s an uber-trendy fermented tea made by crafting a mixture of sweet tea with the addition of a SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Basically, kombucha is a healthier alternative to soda and beer with its same texture yet better ingredients and health benefits.
Five years ago Elijah Webster, founder of Thrive Kombucha, was introduced to the drink for the first time by his wife, Annie. He initially wasn’t a fan until he continued to try different flavors and learn more about its health benefits like better digestion and overall gut health.
Webster describes the first taste of kombucha akin to the first taste of wine, spirits, coffee or dark chocolate; at first you may not like the taste, but then it grows on you. Since the American diet has no staple fermented foods in it, it’s no surprise that many are initially averse to the taste.
He has one simple goal with Thrive Kombucha: make a difference where he lives.
“Maybe you can’t change the whole world, but you can change it for the few people you come in contact with,” says Webster.
He admits opening a micro-kombucha company was not an overnight process. He was brewing kombucha for five years before he even had the idea to open his own shop. After roughly two and a half years of planning and mastering his product, Webster’s dream of Thrive Kombucha came to life.
With kombucha being a word that half of Lexington can’t pronounce or probably has never heard of, Webster wasn’t sure what to expect when he opened up his shop in downtown Lexington. But in the past year, he’s been most surprised by the overwhelming amount of support from the Lexington community.
“I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and seeing what they are passionate about.” He continues, “But most importantly, I love offering them a product that I know is going to help fuel them in doing what they love to do.”
That’s part of the reason Webster is at Thrive Kombucha six days a week. The shop is small and minimalistic yet cozy and inviting; solely because Webster prides himself on getting to know the people who come in.
“When you walk through these doors, this can be the one healthy decision in the right direction.” He laughs, “We’re not health Nazis. I enjoy a North Lime donut as much as you do, but there is a definite emphasis on taking care of ourselves and fueling our bodies well.”
Webster says the biggest goal for the next year is to focus on Lexington and share the product locally to people here. In the upcoming weeks, Thrive Kombucha will be popping up in different locations and distributing kegs to microbreweries with plans to start bottling their product within three to six months.
Thrive Kombucha can also be found at Lexington Farmers’ Markets on Saturdays, monthly NoLi Night Markets, and other local street fairs and festivals.
“Even if you can’t pronounce it, come in and try it.”
Thrive Kombucha is located at 810 N. Limestone.
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