Parkerview Brews Kombucha
In 2017, only a handful of kombucha brands were available in grocery stores. After trying all the kombucha Amy could get her hands on with little satisfaction, her natural inclination was to create her own! The goal was to brew kombucha that tasted better than existing ones - less tangy (vinegary), lightly sweetened, bubbly - and to incorporate local ingredients from Saskatchewan growers. Together with her husband, she began experimenting and created a kombucha that was better than any other brand she had tried previously. Today, Parkerview Brews Kombucha is the largest commercial kombucha brewery in Saskatchewan and can be found in 200+ stores across the province. The brand also has their own cafes and e-commerce making them a go-to destination for all things kombucha. Parkerview Brews is known for making kombucha that simply tastes great - it's sparkling, balanced in flavour and uses unique Saskatchewan ingredients like Saskatoon berries, sour cherries and chaga mushrooms. The business also supports local charities that help provide at-risk youth and families with food throughout the year.
If chosen to receive the $10,000 fund, what would you use it for?
This funding would have an incredible impact on the overall growth and expansion of our business. We are currently in the stages of expansion to increase our inventory and keep up with demand for our kombucha. A major part of this expansion is the doubling of our facility and transitioning from glass bottles to aluminum cans. The move from glass to cans allows us to quadruple our production capacity! With this transition, the upfront costs are incredibly high. This includes the facility expansion, the cost of a canning system and the purchase of aluminum cans and cardboard boxes.
It might not be "sexy" but we would use this grant to fund an entire year's worth of branded cardboard boxes as we are required to purchase large quantities at a time in order to receive the best price per unit. These boxes are the first things that customers and store staff interact with so it's actually a very important part of our packaging. By having the cost of the boxes covered, this would allow us to continue to cash flow and not be hindered financially during the transition. This would also help us tremendously as we work on expanding our distribution nationally.
What is one of your goals for 2023?
The primary goal for our business in 2023 is to quadruple our capacity by doubling our facility (by March), switching from glass bottles to cans (April/May), and to begin distribution and sales in Alberta (starting with Edmonton) and British Columbia (starting in Vancouver). By switching from glass bottles to cans, we are able to increase our inventory and export capabilities, as well as reduce our carbon footprint and be more thoughtful about the impact our packaging has on the environment - less energy to produce cans, years to decompose is ½ of a glass bottle, and consumer recycling rates of cans are higher.
Why do you think you deserve to receive this fund?
We value community - a major part of what we do is to build a community that values healthy habits, positivity and optimism. We support our greater Saskatoon community whenever possible through monetary donations and products (in-kind). We are dedicated to supporting organizations and events related to improving the lives of women and food security. Some of the organizations we support include The Saskatoon Food Bank and CHEP Good Food Inc., a non-profit organization aimed to alleviate the main barriers to food security and educating the community on making healthy food choices. We also support Saskatchewan growers/producers by purchasing fruit ingredients locally whenever possible - this includes Saskatoon berries, sour cherries, honey, and chaga mushrooms.
We are growing - this funding has a major impact on our growth trajectory. As we switch over to cans, this will allow us to keep up with the current demand in our own province while permitting us to grow our business out of province. The funding would not go wasted, rather it would have a major impact.
We have clarity and direction - we know exactly what we will use the funding for and how we can measure it (it is important to us to be able to measure and track our activities in nearly everything we do - we’re all about systems). We have proven ourselves as strong, savvy business owners. We are outselling national brands on the shelf and we will continue to do so in other provinces.