THE HISTORY OF ROOTS KOMBUCHA
Roots Kombucha was started by two doctors – not real doctors, but academic ones. Matthias and Nick met in Uppsala in 2008, where they both studied at SLU (the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences). Years later they moved in together in an apartment in Malmö. In this apartment they spent a lot of time brewing beer, fermenting vegetables, making sour dough bread, and … yes … kombucha, which Nick had been drinking since the last millennium. It is in this shared apartment that the idea of Roots Kombucha developed.
The business started in a very small scale, mainly focused on selling kombucha on markets. In early 2015 the Roots Kombucha brewery moved in to its first commercial location in Malmö to start expanding production. After another move in 2020, Roots of Malmö now resides in an old factory on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö that we renovated to our standards. Today, we are the leading kombucha producer in Sweden.
THE PEOPLE BEHIND ROOTS KOMBUCHA
Nick loves bacteria, both in theory and practice. He is a doctor of microbiology and can tell you everything you wonder about microbes. If you don’t wonder, he will teach you a bit anyway. Nick does not only love kombucha, but everything that has to do with fermentation. Of course he ferments vegetables. He also ferments milk into kefir for his breakfast every morning, and sour dough into bread. To close the loop he is also really into composting. He collects the coffee grounds from his job and uses the finished compost to fertilize his garden.
Two more things about Nick that deserve to be mentioned are that he has
- been told that he reminds people of Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
- been1 the best2 wrestler in New York State
1 between Febrary and October 1999. 2 among high school students in the 65 kg weight class
Matthias is a doctor of industrial-environmental-economical-something-sciences. Anyway, he keeps the numbers straight. That might sound boring, but to be fair it is not very hard to keep Roots Kombucha’s numbers in order. Matthias also engages in many things he can do moderately well, such as building homepages and designing labels. It is an underestimation to say that Roots Kombucha owes a lot to the country of Austria and the work ethic that it fostered into this short but very capable man.
Matthias makes marvelous apfel strudel and is well-travelled – he has lived in London, Manchester, Vienna, Brittany (France) and Istanbul before be found himself ROOTed in Malmö.
In the summer of 2017 we realized that we finally needed help with sales, customer relations and marketing. One of the applicants was a mother of four that had earlier sold golf equipment. From golf equipment to kombucha is a far stretch, we thought at first, but once we had met Johanna we were convinced that this cool, friendly and well-organized person would be just as good at selling kombucha as she was at selling golf equipment. Her first good deed was to teach us the term CRM-system (Customer Relationship Management), which both we and our customers are grateful for. Johanna has a passion for food, health, and ecology, and a garden with massive amounts of kale.
When, in the spring 0f 2019, we were looking for someone with brewing experience, a talent for organising, and a personal interest for kombucha, we found Mia. As it turned out, she even has an exquisite taste of music! Mia's playlists make long brewing days a lot more fun, not least because she knows all those details about the artists. When Mia is not listening to music, she is sailing the waters around the Swedish west coast. Mia has worked both with beer brewing and the production of freshly pressed juices, which equipped here with many skills that are now highly valued at Roots. The only thing missing now for Mia is to bring Nick and Matthias to some live gigs and finally make them cool.
If you have ever wondered whether spontaneous applications for a job work, Jacqueline is our proof that they do. One windy day a letter (admittedly electronically, but lets pretend it was an old-fashioned envelope with a stamp on it) blew in through our door (or, our inbox). A very competent person with skills in sales, IT, and business development presented herself. When we then met Jacqueline all pieces fell in place. Roots is a company with many and varied demands, and her interest in kombucha, the environment, and analytics led Jacqueline right into our team. What she does most is roam around the country of Sweden to bring kombucha to the people. Beyond that, she applies her many talents, for example by making art out of scobys, building frames for our kegerators, or takes product pictures. Yes, she is a woman of many crafts. Sometimes, when one walks past her office and hears her music, one wonders if - in her mind - she's out in the forest dancing.