Good Spirit Kombucha
1939 Scarth Street
Make your way through the back alley behind Scarth Street mall with your eyes peeled for the beautifully designed door featuring artwork by Madison Pascal. Heading down the staircase into the fully equipped commercial brewery really puts into perspective the scale of this Kombucha operation, which is only three years old. What was once a brewing space for Pile O’ Bones Brewing Company, has now become home to Good Spirit Kombucha as of August 2020.
Founded in 2017, Good Spirit Kombucha started out as a home brewing passion for Kale Baiton and quickly turned into a growing Saskatchewan business. Now led by two females, Taylor Chapman and Colleen Cretin stepped in as the lead operating partners in 2018 bringing along with them the undeniable strength of the “Girlboss.” “We are a female operated business which is unique in the brewing industry,” claimed Taylor who is proud to be a pioneer in the Kombucha brewing space.
Both ladies are cool, calm and collected (despite Colleen sarcastically admitting to a small business-owner emotional breakdown once per month, on average… who else can relate?!). Taylor originally studied to be in broadcasting and Colleen an accountant, before personal connections and interests in entrepreneurship led them to join original owner, Kale with Good Spirit Kombucha. Taylor came on board in 2018 (alongside third owner, Andrew Cretin) followed by Andrew’s younger sister, Colleen, in 2019. Once the ladies decided to commit themselves full-time to the business and step in as co-owners & lead operators, they helped to initiate the process to scale the company from what was once described as small but mighty pilot brewery into a commercial brewing space.
What attracted them to entering the brewing industry full-time was the opportunity “to be creative and make a product from start to finish.” They love working closely with other breweries in the province to learn what they have to offer, then taking that knowledge back to their kombucha business and applying it to their own brewing process.
The move to their new space in downtown Regina was in the works for nearly 9 months. Colleen, Taylor and the other owners were sure to take their time when considering the drastic increase in production that would result from the move. The pilot brewery featured 12 small brewing tanks (each holding 114 litres) while the new facility is equipped with 7 large tanks (holding 1000 litres each). In addition to the increase in brewing capabilities, they also purchased a canning line which has the ability to package a tank in 4-hours, compared to the 21-hour by hand bottling process they previously used. The ladies are delighted by the switch from glass bottles to cans not only because of the increase in efficiency but also for the accessibility that comes from cans, “you can easily take them to the beach and not worry about glass breaking,” claimed Colleen.
As you can tell from the recent changes to their production line, Taylor and Colleen have no plans to slow down! Their goal is to continue to “create a product that people love and to enhance [Regina’s economy] by growing a local business. A big part of [their] vision is to create a non-alcoholic option that is accessible everywhere including bars, coffee shops and grocery stores.” One day, in the not-so-distant future, they are anticipating distribution to expand beyond Saskatchewan and into all of Western Canada, starting with Manitoba.
The move to their new space happened amidst major changes in business operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We had to pivot to more direct consumer sales through our e-commerce platform, as opposed to being a wholesale distribution business. This pivot allowed us to keep our sales steady, while other distribution channels like bars and coffee shops had to close down,” explained Taylor. As small business owners, they understand the challenges that entrepreneurs are facing during this time. Their advice to fellow business owners is “in order to stay relevant and top of mind, a business needs to be able to reach customer’s online because consumers in 2020 are used to convenience.”
The move to downtown Regina came with many perks for Good Spirit Kombucha. Specifically, the increase in foot traffic from people who work downtown during the week or head to the Regina Farmer’s Market on weekends. The new brewing space doubles as a retail location where customers can purchase cans ($5 each or six for $25) or stop by to refill their Good Spirit Kombucha growler ($10 refill). So far, they have experienced support by the downtown community as other businesses have been reaching out for collaborations. When asked what they love about the downtown Regina they exclaimed “there’s a lot of hidden gems in downtown Regina! You can find everything from local clothing stores, restaurants and a kombucha brewery all within walking distance!”
Watch the full video tour here: https://youtu.be/g4oSNbhPRpA
Where to find Good Spirit Kombucha:
Address: 1939 Scarth St.