By Bill O'Boyle The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Pennsylvania entrepreneur Natalie Lynn introduces us to Komubcha, a special drink that she says has helped her customers with everything from irritable bowel syndrome to arthritis even some skin conditions.
Natalie Lynn said she has always loved science and food, so her business -- Natalie's Craft Kombucha -- combined both.
Lynn, 30, of Elysburg, brews and sells her own brand of kombucha -- a fermented beverage that starts with caffeinated black or green tea and sugar, which are ingested by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a scoby, yielding probiotics that can aid in digestion, immune support and other health areas.
"Kombucha is a great way to drink something that is delicious, healthy and beneficial," Lynn said. "It gives your body what it needs every day."
Natalie's Craft Kombucha is one of 12 local small businesses participating in the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Shop program in the Midtown Village, 41 South Main St., for the holidays, through Saturday.
The pop-up program is being held via a partnership among the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, the PPL Foundation and the Insalaco Development Group.
Lynn said she sells 18 different flavors of her kombucha in 16 ounces and 32 ounces.
Lynn used the analogy of comparing your stomach with a swimming pool. She said a swimming pool must be treated with chemicals to keep a good balance, or else it will turn green and things will grow.
"Think of your stomach as a swimming pool," she said. "Everything needs to be balanced out, or like a swimming pool, it will turn green and things will start growing."
Lynn said she began drinking kombucha about seven years ago, and that's when she got really interested in it.
"I was struggling with chronic migraines," she said. "So I researched kombucha. It helped with my migraines. I swear by it. It's a great health tool."
At her Pop-Up Shop, Lynn said she will offer rotating flavors of kombucha, and it will be available on tap.
"I love being downtown with all the other entrepreneurs," Lynn said. "It's really fun to be a part of the community in that way."
Lynn said she has been selling her products in downtown Wilkes-Barre for a few years, and now she is getting to meet many of her customers.
"I've met some of the people who have been buying it, and those who are trying it for the first time," Lynn said. "And being around so many other entrepreneurs has been very inspiring."
Lynn said the people trying kombucha for the first time have been surprised at how much they like the product. "There were a couple of days that I sold out," she said. "That's very encouraging."
Lynn said it takes about two to three week, start to finish, to brew a batch of kombucha. She said she has "brewing space" in her kitchen.
Lynn said her customers have experienced improvements in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, colitis and acid re-flux disease. She also said kombucha is known to help those suffering from arthritis and skin conditions.
"What I love about being a small business is I get to hear these things," Lynn said recently. "Science has been catching up to the trend of kombucha as it's been happening. I was hoping there would be something to validate what I've been saying. A lot stems from gut health."