Kombucha business keeps growing for Drums woman
By Brigid Edmunds May 6, 2018
Natalie Lynn shows no signs of slowing down.
Her business, Counterpart Kombucha, formerly Natalie’s Craft Kombucha, is being sold in three states, comes in 19 flavors – ranging from herbal and floral to sweet– and has a steady following on social media.
“We call it the ‘booch fam,’” she said.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that starts with caffeinated black or green tea and sugar, which are ingested by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a scoby, yielding probiotics that can aid in digestion, immune support and other health areas.
Lynn said her customers have experienced improvements in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis and acid reflux disease. She also said kombucha is known to help those suffering from arthritis and skin conditions.
“What I love about being a small business is I get to hear these things,” Lynn said. “Science has been catching up to the trend of kombucha as it’s been happening. I was hoping there would be something to validate what I’ve been saying. A lot stems from gut health.”
Lynn, 30, recently moved to Drums from Elysburg, allowing her easier access to the areas she sells kombucha, as well as close access to Interstate 81.
“This area is amazing,” she said. “In terms of distribution, you’re right by 81.”
Since starting the business four years ago, Lynn has continued to expand the variety of her product, as well as the locations where it can be bought.
“I couldn’t have seen any of this coming,” she said of her continued success.
Lynn said a lot of her success is owed to word-of-mouth in the beginning, but she also uses social media to interact personally with those who are purchasing the product.
“It’s so amazing and I really thrive on that,” she said.
Through this, she said the community between customers has flourished as well.
Currently, her kombucha is sold in cities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. She has expanded into cities such as Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and continues to expand her business in Northeastern Pennsylvania as well.
“The expansion is really fun and exciting,” Lynn said. “I am learning about new areas as I’m expanding into them.”
One of her newest clients in the area is Powerhouse Eatery in White Haven. The restaurant will feature a selection of flavors in their lunch menu, as well as making cocktails using the drink on their dinner menu.
When Red Leaf Salad Company opened their Wilkes-Barre location last year, they announced they would carry all of Lynn’s flavors.
“I couldn’t believe it when they said they were going to do every flavor,” she said.
Lynn said she first tried kombucha 11 years ago, knowing little about it other than its potential health benefits, and began brewing it a little more than four years ago.
She started meeting customers in a parking lot in Bloomsburg on a weekly basis, and her orders were growing in size.
Since then, Lynn said she now has a “booch spot,” where she makes the product, as well as one employee, but the way she approaches the craft is the same.
“We’re still doing everything by hand,” she said. “So every label, lid, seal, flavoring, brewing, still done by hand.”
And as far as choosing flavors, Lynn said she “can never stop.”
“You get really into it, drinking something like the every day,” she said.
“You want to have options.”
So, Lynn said she thinks a lot about flavors for the drinks, taking inspiration from what’s fresh and available locally.
“I like to keep it fun and do seasonal flavors and so many flavors,” she said.
“Forming relationships with local farmers has been so tremendous,” she said. “Because they know what they’re growing, of course, and they can also say ‘oh my gosh you’ll love this.’”
She said the relationships are partnerships between the two passions they share.
In the last year, Lynn had to rename her brand, after learning a company in Florida had her name trademarked.
She said after countless hours of brainstorming and thinking of different possible names, she landed on Counterpart.
“I feel like it’s so much more than a business,” she said. “It feels like it’s a part of me. My counterpart.”