Who needs Phuza Thursday anyway – when we have wellness Wednesday! And Kombucha to keep us going of course.
We just love this amazing story of a young lady from America, who now brews and supplies South Africans with this fermented tea drink, well known for it’s health and digestive properties!
Previously from Seattle, Meghan Werner found herself living in Cape Town after finishing, a contract in Lesotho as part of her former career in public health and policy.
After not being able to find her trusty digestive aid, kombucha ,of good quality, or a brewer for that matter, she made contact with a friend travelling from America.
This was the beginning of her independently-owned, manufacturing company, Theonista – even if she didn’t know it yet. The name Theonista is inspired by the Greek term “Theobroma,” given to the cocoa tree which means “food of the gods.”
Originally making gluten and dairy free chocolate, this name was fitting, with an added dose of femininity. Being able to produce her own kombucha was thanks to a friend who brought over a SCOBY from America – which is the culture used to ferment the tea.
Intended to be for self consumption, her brew quickly gained attention from friends and acquaintances and soon retail stores were knocking at her door eager to sell her product.
Before starting her own business, Meghan was putting her Public Health qualifications to use elsewhere. Beginning only as a passion project, she never expected Theonista to turn into a “real business,” though she feels producing healthy products is indeed associated with the health of the public.
Werner comments “Despite very dramatic growth in the past couple of years, we have maintained our small production methods, continuing to manually brew and bottle all the products at our plant here in Woodstock, primarily because that approach has consistently yielded the best results in terms of quality.”
Making “Kombucha On Tap” more readily available throughout South Africa in restaurants and bars as an alternative to alcoholic drinks as well as in health shops, is part of Meghan’s future plans, together with using the technical and scientific information available on kombucha to enhance and optimize the benefits of her products.
No expansion of the tea is on the cards as the range already consists of three bottle sizes and approximately 10-12 flavours at any given time with the introduction of seasonal flavours that allow Meghan to offer something new using botanicals, spices, and/or fruits to create options which are seasonally inspired.
To find out more about Meghan and Kombucha here
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!