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Food & Drink » Chow

Staying Humm-ble

Success in the heart of Bend

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The fame and popularity of Humm Kombucha is not at all a secret here in Bend. Due to this health conscious and taste-loving town, the popularity of Humm grew here first, right where it was founded. Humm recently announced that it would be expanding beyond its 5,000-square-foot facility, moving into a new location that will be roughly 30,000 square feet, or six times the size of the original location.

The new facility was needed because Humm will be going national by 2017 and expanding into Europe, say co-owners Michelle Mitchell and Jamie Danek. In Bend, 30 to 40 jobs will be added over the next several years.

Beyond the growing market that Humm will serve, it will also be adding two new products to its line, including a Mix-It Up line combining flavors, which can already be experienced in Humm's tap room. Another idea that is still on the drawing board is creating a savory line.

"The crux of our business has always been how do we make more kombucha? With this expansion we will finally have more tea than we can sell for a while, which will be fun for us," says Danek. "Humm has been sold out about 80 percent of the time we've been a business and we're looking forward to being in a place where we have more tea than we know what to do with."

Mitchell agrees. "We are looking forward to sharing Bend with the world," she says. The company is expanding with Costco, Safeway, 7/11 and other outlets to grow beyond the Pacific Northwest.

The taproom will stay exactly where it is. The partners say they are pleasantly surprised with the taproom that is busy all day long. "Retail won't change at all. The only change that is occurring is in the manufacturing," says Mitchell

"This expansion will quadruple our brewery capacity," says Danek. It will also be nice to bring everyone together again under one roof since we've had to have our office in another location away from the brewery," she says.

The market is demanding more and Humm Kombucha is doing what it can to oblige the thirsty masses. This massive upgrade is much needed considering the growing popularity of the product in an exploding new beverage market.

Employees are excited about the expansion as well. "The amount of growth Humm has experienced in the past two years is amazing. We're excited to have the chance to expand and continue to share our love of kombucha with the world," says lead brewer Eric Ohlrich.

"I believe with every ounce of my being that Humm is such a product of Bend," says Mitchell. The success of the business that began in 2009 was almost immediate. The larger facility will help meet nationwide demand in the $600 million growing kombucha industry. Humm is now sold in 18 states, but the women point out that their most important customers will always be the original ones in their own backyard.

Humm Kombucha

1125 NE Second St., Bend

Taproom Hours:

Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

541-306-6329

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