Brews without buzz: how operators can bolster non-alcoholic beverage profits - Canadian Restaurant News
Tonica Kombucha in health minded restaurants and bars
Kombucha: ancient beverage revised
Zoey Shamai and the Tonica Kombucha team.
Zoey Shamai founded Tonica, a kombucha drink company, after studying yoga in Mexico and learning about the health benefits the fermented tea beverage has to offer. “People are tired of feeling tired,” Shamai says. “They want to be healthy and energized and they are looking for products like mine.” With only 45 calories per 355-mililitre bottle, the kombucha is 100 per cent organic and comes in seven flavours: black tea, green tea, ginger, mango, peach, blueberry and jasmine. “Bars, and especially mixologists, are really interested in it because of the unique flavouring. It’s both sweet and quite tart,” Shamai says. Operators can purchase Tonica kombucha in bulk 20-litre pails, and sell it as is or blend it with fruit to create smoothies. The company is also looking for ways to sell kegs of kombucha to restaurants who want the beverage on tap. According to Shamai, kombucha is a sweetened caffeinated tea with kombucha culture added to kick start fermentation. The process feeds off the caffeine and sugar and, as a by-product, bacteria and acids are produced, which are beneficial for rebuilding healthy bacteria in the body. She says it is healthy for digestion and the liver. “It’s great marketing for the restaurants because, if they have a kombucha on the menu, right away that indicates that they are health conscious and that they’re on the pulse of what’s happening,” says Shamai.