When Lucas Esson left the Highlands to study math and computer science at the University of Waterloo, it was insightful but he knew something was missing.
In addition to his studies, he did co-ops at Blackberry, ICF Olson and the City of Kitchener, getting a look into the world of big business and technology.
“I learned a lot, but I also realized it wasn’t exactly the right environment for me,” he said.
Being health conscious, he’d always desired to make a living in health and wellness and he’d always wanted to start his own business.
He began learning about the benefits of Kombucha – a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened tea – said to aid in gut health and alkalizing the body.
“I always grabbed a bottle of it whenever I came across it in stores.”
After graduating and returning to the County, the former Archie Stouffer and Haliburton Highlands Secondary School alumni had some free time on his hands.
“So, instead of buying my kombucha at the store, I decided to give brewing my own a try,” he said.
He went online and bought the required ingredients for brewing: organic tea, sugar, and kombucha culture.
“The whole process of making kombucha was very enjoyable and relaxing for me,” he said.
After four years of mentally exhaustive work, it was a nice change of pace.
He was “pleasantly surprised” to find that first batch was “delicious.” He shared it with friends and family and they all enjoyed it too.
“Realizing that the business of kombucha was new, and there was no local brewery, I immediately saw the business opportunity,” he added.
He continued to brew and quickly increased his production.
Before long, he had a bottled kombucha that was ready to sell in stores.
In February 2020, he took some samples to local businesses and met with great success.
The operation is based at the Little Hawk Resort and The Wharf Restaurant, which features a large commercial kitchen. Their kombucha can be found in Haliburton County, Muskoka and Toronto.
They are also planning to grow, hoping to distribute across the province and country. They are in the midst of adding two new team members, an assistant brewer and a salesperson.
“It’s amazing that my two passions have come together into one; starting my own company plus learning about and practicing healthy living. I feel that this type of environment is more my pace compared to the big tech corporate environment,” he said.
“One of my favourite parts of being in this business is the people I get to meet and work with. I have met lots of like-minded health-conscious individuals. Something I didn’t experience as much of in the tech world. I am blessed that everything worked out the way it did. I am excited to continue this journey and see where it takes me. “