This month, vendor Eva’s Herbucha turns 10! To celebrate, we caught up with owner Eva Sippl to ask her how her business has evolved over the years, and the role the farmers market has played in her success.
You can find Eva’s Herbucha at the PSU Market on Saturdays year-round and at the King Market June-October. In addition to their six delicious flavors, you can also purchase kombucha starter kits and kombucha candy (read on to learn more)!
Portland Farmers Market: Why did you start Eva’s Herbucha?
Eva Sippl: I started my own company because making kombucha came easy to me and I love the drink. But the main reason I started a company was because I wanted to direct my money where I think it should go. You vote with your money these days and I do this by carefully choosing the companies I buy my ingredients and packaging supplies from and by supporting local communities and events through product donations. I am also a member of 1 Percent For the Planet and donate one percent of my annual sales to Oregon Environmental Council, Big Life Foundation, and Oceans Initiative.
PFM: When did you start selling at the farmers market?
ES: I started at the Buckman and Kenton markets in 2013.
PFM: What role has the farmers market played in the success of your business?
ES: Being a vendor at the farmers market helps me to establish and strengthen connections with customers – regulars and new ones. Selling at the farmers market is very good exposure. I recently got an email from someone who tried my kombucha at the market and wants to make it available in their office for employees. I have also been contacted by authors of magazines and blogs who found my link through the Portland Farmers Market website and want to get more information about my company. It’s a pretty long list!
PFM: What do you love about the farmers market?
ES: The camaraderie between the vendors. It’s nice to meet everybody once a week and catch up. We trade our fares and help each other out if necessary. And the farmers market staff is nice too!
PFM: What is herbucha? And how is it different from kombucha?
ES: I called my kombucha “Herbucha” because I use two parts herbal teas, one part green tea for most of my flavors. It gives them a lighter, crisper taste that is easier on the palate for many people. Plus, you have the added health benefits of the herbs. My “Detox” blend has dandelion root, nettle leaf, and elder flower, for example.
PFM: Where is your favorite place to drink your herbucha?
ES: On the bench in my back yard – my “Rose City Blend” with a bit of Free Spirit Gin …it’s like heaven in a glass.
PFM: Tell me about Eva’s Cultured Candy!
ES: Eva’s Cultured Candy is my new baby. I have always looked for a way to make use of all the SCOBYs we are producing during the fermentation process. Last fall I finally had an idea that I liked and so far everybody who tries them does too – I make candy out of them. We mix them with four delicious flavors: Zesty Lavender (lemon and lavender), Tropical Spice (mango, apricot, and cardamom), Apple Pie (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, fenugreek, and lemon peel), and Orange Cream (orange and vanilla). The SCOBY pieces turn into gummy bear like treats and since they are never heated above 110 °F, all the beneficial probiotics and enzymes stay intact.
PFM: Happy 10th anniversary! What are your hopes for the future of your business?
ES: My dream for the future is to grow into a larger business so I can create full-time jobs with benefits for my employees. And the more I sell, the more money goes to the non-profit organizations I support with the 1% of my annual sales donations (Oregon Environmental Council, Big Life Foundation, Oceans Initiative, and the Rozalia Project).