Local kombucha company Bare Bucha will debut its brand new beverage van tonight in downtown Waco. Bare Bucha's mobile unit comes equipped with nine keg taps running along its the side, making the popular probiotic drink readily available to the masses.
Entrepreneur Toby Tull, who also owns The Home Grown Farm and Happy Harvest, will debut his latest venture during the Downtown Waco Farmers Market’s annual Night Market at Heritage Square. The Night Market, which features live music, a silent auction, Santa's workshop, and handcrafted goods, will operate from 5-8PM.
“This is really Bare Bucha’s coming out party,” Tull said. “We felt like, strategy-wise, it was good to get it out now and start getting the word out.”
Kombucha, a combination of fermented tea and fruit flavors, is considered to contribute to digestive system health due to the live microbial symbiotic cultures, or SCOBY, used to ferment the tea.
Although the long-reputed health benefits of kombucha have yet to be verified, there's no doubt that business is booming. Stateside consumers purchased nearly $400 million worth of the beverage in 2014, up from just over $100 million in 2010. In November 2016, multinational corporation PepsiCo acquired KeVita, a leading kombucha brand, for a reported $200 million.
Waco's contribution to kombucha culture began in 2016 when Tull started brewing his own small batches at home. After sharing the product with friends and hearing calls for a consistent supply, Tull increased production from 24 bottles per week to 600 bottles per week while maintaining the original quality and method. Its popularity at the downtown farmer's market led to the brand's next iteration as a mobile vendor able to serve clients all across Central Texas.
“I think the Farmers Market is an excellent place to debut the van because on a very basic scale that’s where we first started selling kombucha originally,” said Kelly Doolittle, a Bare Bucha employee.