Spark Kombucha

Spark Kombucha began serving uniquely dry brews in 2015 at the Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver Farmer’s Markets. It all started as a passion project for founder Ellen, to share this gut healthy beverage exclusively on tap with the community. With growing requests, Spark now offers their kombucha in Bottles, On Tap & DIY Brew Kits!

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: We pretty much start local and if we can find the service or the product here – it’s always our first choice. If not, we’ll look elsewhere but we always try to keep it BC based. The core ingredient of our business – our tea, isn’t grown in Canada but our tea supplier is a Squamish business Ranger Teacrafters (formerly Namasthe). Our flavourings are from Discovery Organics in Vancouver, and we occasionally brew seasonal flavours with produce from local farmers. Our standard is ‘Always Organic’ so sometimes, if we can’t find the organic version of a flavour here, we do have to choose an imported product instead.

For our packaging we use Summit Labels in Vancouver, since at the moment no one in Squamish prints bottle labels. Our bottles come from a Canadian bottle company called Richards Packaging.

For services, 99% of our suppliers are in B.C. We’re working with a Vancouver based marketing company called Piquant that specializes in the food service industry. For printing we use Inbiz and Garibaldi Graphics, and we use Triton Industrial for some of the hardware and parts for our on tap service.

Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: We started off our business as an on tap refill program with a goal to reduce waste. We have Fill Stations for growler refills or have kegs on tap at a few places in town including Nesters Market, Green MoustacheFergie’s Cafe and A-FRAME Brewing and we’re also at the Squamish Farmers’ Market every two weeks.

Our On Tap service declined due to COVID-19, so we recently started a growler exchange program, and we have a bottled product in grocery stores and cafe’s and bars around the Sea to Sky. We always select reusable, recycled, and recyclable materials wherever possible. The tea and all the flavourings get composted after brewing and our customers can buy in bulk, so there’s a lot less waste. We also encourage people to return their bottles to us. I also love that because we live right in the community, sometimes I find that people have dropped off a case of bottles beside our Spark Kombucha van.

Being mindful with your processes and practices can make it more economical and more environmental to run a small business while reducing environmental impact. For example, we have recirculation bins for our water basins so we can reduce water consumption, and it saves us money on hot water too.

We have a tight-knit team of employees – there are five of us and we’re growing. We call it a Fam-Jam! We‘ve created a family environment and we hang out after work, and I‘ve organized a few special things like going out for lunch at the end of a bottling shift, or a lip balm/natural soap making workshop so we all have holiday gifts to give to loved ones. I honestly trust my employees with my life. We don’t have a formal recognition program, but I do love to surprise and delight my team when I find something they might need or enjoy.

We also support local events and charities – in the past, we’ve donated our tips to local animal rescue, and we donate products, gift certificates, or bring kegs to events to raise funds for organizations like the Squamish and Whistler Off Road Cycling Associations (SORCA and WORCA), and the newly formed Stoke Sisters.

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