A former science teacher is raising a glass after winning a deal with the Co-op which will see her company’s Japanese-style kombucha drink sold in stores across the region.
Debbie Wild set up her business, Kinoko, in December 2017 to develop a modern take on the centuries-old fermented tea drink.
Kinoko Kombucha is an effervescent soft drink, produced at Rudgate Brewery from Yorkshire Green Tea with cane sugar and kombucha cultures.
Ms Wild, who was formerly head of science at Cundall Manor School, near Boroughbridge, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be listed in the Co-op – it is fantastic to see our drinks in-store. It raises awareness of our brand and makes our product much more accessible. Even my cousin got in touch to say she could now pick up our Kombucha in her local Co-op!
“As a business we are against adding sweeteners and artificial flavours, finding the right natural ingredients is key for me, and I believe we will see more and more people moving away from drinks which are high in sugar.”
Kinoko – which is based on the Marston Business Park in Tockwith – will initially supply 16 Co-op food stores in the region, with the first three drinks that the business created: its Classic Kombucha, Lime and Mint, and Coconut.
Rachel Greenlees, Co-op’s local sourcing buyer, said: “Co-op is committed to creating value in its communities and local sourcing is a cornerstone of our approach.
“Local produce is an area where we see continued sustainable growth. Our members and customers tell us that it is important to them and, it is driven by increasing consumer demand for trust, quality and provenance.
“Local products are made with a mix of quality, pride, passion and innovation and the Co-op is continually looking for new ways to promote, celebrate and showcase Yorkshire produce.”
It is not the first time that Kinoko has won a major supermarket deal. In April 2018, the company, which now employs four people, won a deal that saw its kombucha listed by 80 Morrisons stores across the UK.
Although kombucha is a Japanese term, the drink is thought to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago and is traditionally believed to have health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, relieving asthma and headaches, reducing high blood pressure and easing the symptoms of gout and arthritis.