Mobtown Fermentation, the group behind Wild Kombucha, has outgrown its Hampden production facility and is moving into a new space in Timonium.
The startup, founded in 2014, is moving into a 4,000-square-foot space at 9 W. Aylesbury Road, the former home of Michele's Granola. Partners Adam Bufano, Sergio Malarin and Sid Sharma are signing the lease this week and expect their renovations to be complete by March 1.
Mobtown Fermentation is one of a few local companies that produce kombucha, an increasingly popular fermented tea loaded with probiotics and nutrients that promote good gut health.
The trio's current production facility is located at 3600 Hickory Ave. in Hampden.
For now, the three founders handle all the production and packaging themselves, but they said they plan to bring on a fourth employee soon to help meet production demands. In the next six months they also hope to add an automated bottling line, Malarin said.
Moving into a new space will help facilitate Wild Kombucha's growth. The company has already seen strong sales since it began selling its products last February. All three partners became full time in September, and in October the company started partnering with Charm City Beverage, a Baltimore-based distributor. Now Wild Kombucha is on shelves in about 40 stores, including markets and coffee shops across Baltimore, as well as three Washington locations.
More retail outlets are on the way. Wild Kombucha will soon be available in Whole Foods Market in Mount Washington — a move the group hopes will spur other Whole Foods locations to pick up the brand. Wild Kombucha will also be on shelves in MOM's Organic Market when it opens at the Rotunda shopping center.
Eventually the founders hope to expand regionally, but not so far that the quality of their drinks is depleted, Sharma said.
Wild Kombucha comes in three flavors: ginger grapefruit, mango peach and the newest variety, elderberry. They're working on a new apple flavor and plan on adding it seasonally, Bufano said.
Brewing a batch of kombucha takes two weeks — 11 days for the first round of fermentation, and three more for the flavoring to set.
The drinks, which utilize fair-trade and organic ingredients, are geared toward a broad audience rather than targeting health nuts, the partners said. Part of that means keeping the beverages affordable in addition to creating accessible taste profiles. A bottle for sale recently at Charmington's in Remington was $4.
Wild Kombucha will soon be available in kegs, and the company is looking to expand to local bars and coffee shops.
In their current space, Mobtown Fermentation produces 60 cases of kombucha per week — each containing 24 bottles, or about two gallons. The new space will provide the capacity to brew up to 500 gallons per week — more than four times their current capacity.