ABOUT THE CHIEF BREWING OFFICER
With a background in architecture and a love of wellness, Milan built Cultured Kombucha. Cultured Kombucha is the story of one woman looking to affect positive change in minority communities through driving awareness to internal health and wellness. Milan strives to make the health and wellness scene in the District more diverse one fizzy bottle at a time.
It's been said that "wellness has a race problem", and I think that problem is multi-pronged. Representation, access, and barriers to entry. I created Cultured Kombucha because I love brewing and drinking kombucha, but also because I wanted to tackle some of those barriers to wellness. Cultured Kombucha exists to create a tribe; a tribe of healthy bacteria conspiring for your good, a tribe of positive and supportive people looking to better themselves and those around them, a tribe of people looking to affect positive change in black and minority communities. We're brewing for the culture.
RELAUNCHING CULTURED KOMBUCHA
Cultured Kombucha is brewed in Washington D.C. and is a woman and minority-owned business. We believe all communities should have access to and knowledge of internal health and wellness, so we brew this kombucha for culture, and for those who might otherwise overlook probiotic benefits. Like so many other small businesses, Cultured was gravely impacted by COVID-19 and many other hurdles that minority-owned businesses face at a disproportionate rate.
Cultured Kombucha's lack of seed funding at launch reflects a general trend among African American businesses, especially those started by women. The anemic seed capital quickly caught up with the business' finances when COVID devastated businesses across all sectors. Retailers and coworking spaces that carried Cultured were required to shutter, and without enough runway in funds to weather the storm Cultured was forced to indefinitely stop production. Hundreds of dollars of fresh ingredients and supplies were lost.
In some regards Cultured Kombucha feels as necessary now as two years ago when we launched, but for very different reasons. The same disinvested communities and underserved populations that Cultured was created to serve are being hit with illness and lack of funding support. The pandemic has widened the gap between well-resourced businesses and minority-owned businesses that continue to struggle for funding, support, and guidance on survival.
With this indefinite pause in production, Cultured is looking to raise proper funding to re-launch production and sustain operations with goals to further expand educational opportunities and scale distribution to a wider audience.
BLACK HEALTH IN AMERICA
African American and minority communities are plagued with diet-exacerbated health issues while the shelves remain saturated with sugar-sweetened beverages. Did you know:
Over one third of black American men aged 20 and over are obese
Over half of black women in the U.S. aged 20 and over are obese
Over 40% of black women and men in the U.S. live with hypertension
(Source: Center for Disease Controls and Prevention)
(Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health)
"From racial disparities in health outcomes to a booming wellness industry that caters almost exclusively to white, wealthy people, wellness should be accessible to everyone but too often isn’t."
-- Carolyn Kylstra, Editor-in-Chief of SELF Magazine
YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS
We are so grateful for every dollar that goes towards relaunching Cultured Kombucha. In a consumer society, your dollar is your voice so every coin that goes towards this mission speaks volumes. Our new operating funds upon relaunch will go toward:
- Nutrition lab testing for all flavors
- Commercial kitchen leasing space
- Brewing tanks
- Commercial refrigerators
- 40 gallon steamkettle
- Hose and pumps
- One full-time staff member
- Dedicated delivery staff
- Events staff
Cultured's relaunched operating model will include business-to-consumer options, delivery, and shipping out of state.
OTHER FORMS OF GENEROSITY
For those who truly believe in the mission of Cultured Kombucha but may have limited funds, generosity comes in many forms. Please consider sharing this campaign on social media or telling friends and family who may also be interested in supporting. Getting the word out about our campaign and product is of great importance so your voice can be just as important as your dollar - we appreciate any help spreading the word! Additional ways to help us reach our goal:
- Share this campaign on social media (links located in the upper right corner of the page)
- Share this campaign via email
- Tell your family or friends who are interested in supporting wellness in minority communities
- Sign up for our Wellness Wednesday newsletter
- Share one of our photos on social media with the caption "#ForTheCulture - Help Cultured Kombucha reach their campaign goal and bring their product to market in DC!"
We are so grateful for any form of your support. Let's affect positive change together and help all people become a little more well.