Are you seeking a good kombucha? Well, Jeanette Macias and Lyz Bartolome were, and they felt so passionate about finding and creating the right drink that they created a new business together, Seeking Kombucha, right in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Located in the South Lake Union neighborhood, they are open every day from 11 AM to 9 PM.
Seeking Kombucha’s motto on their website is “So let food be your medicine, because every time we eat or drink, we are either feeding a disease or fighting it,” and Macias says that she and Bartolome strive to live up to that sentiment. “I do believe every time we eat it affects our body, it affects how we feel, our mood, our energy, everything,” Macias said. “So it’s important to listen to your body and be mindful of what goes into it.”
Bartolome says these values are rooted in the partners’ heritages. “Our business is deep in Mexican and Filipino roots, and as second generation immigrants, we take a lot of pride in intertwining our cultural background with our flavors and business,” she said. “So we use a lot of that background, and it’s what drives our creativity with the flavors.”
But more than good flavor, Macias emphasizes the probiotics in their beverages that lead to better health. “We make other fermented drinks as well that are gut healthy!” she said. “We make Jun, Tepache, Switchel, Turmeric Soda and Water Kefir.”
She reports that a typical day is a hectic day. “When we started, we were waking up at 4 AM, going to our day jobs, then going to work the farmers markets, then to our commercial kitchen and prep to do it all over again the next day and go home to sleep around midnight,” Macias said. “Things haven’t very much changed, except we get to sleep in a bit longer now!”
Navigating this busy life is easier, Macias says, because she and Bartolome are also married. “We were friends before we started dating,” Macias said. “And well one thing led to another, and couldn’t stand to be apart, so now we’re stuck with each other, lol.”
Macias believes that their strengths complement each other. “I think we make a good pair because Seeking Kombucha wasn’t my first business, I have the financial background establishing the business, and my wife has the operations background,” she said. “I think that’s why Seeking Kombucha is growing so fast, because we set up a full complete ground base.”
This foundation has helped them weather the unique challenges of the current pandemic. “Navigating during COVID was definitely a challenge, because in the beginning we only sold at farmers markets, and when COVID hit we no longer had those outlets,” Bartolome said. “We had to quickly shift gears and find other outlets so that we could keep our customers happy and get them their booch all while trying to stay safe and healthy.”