After 3 years in business, Cultured Ferments is no longer a startup, but a thriving local business with a unique offering that’s in high demand. Kombucha is a fermented sweetened tea created by live cultures of bacteria and yeast. What makes Cultured Ferments different is that Courtney uses all certified organic ingredients, often from the local area – such as their seasonal Yooperberry tea with Michigan huckleberries and saskatoon berries.
The business grew a lot faster than she originally anticipated, and when asked what has surprised her about the journey, she replies, “What hasn’t been surprising? I am learning to step back and see the bigger picture because there are so many details to get caught up in every day.”
Courtney was able to boost her production through the purchase of an automatic labeling machine. To buy the machine, Courtney reached out to Venture North and secured a $7,750 loan in 48 hours. Prior to this purchase, Courtney was hand bottling and labeling all of her products! Because of the improvements to production, Cultured Ferments has a growing list of retailers and will be moving to a bigger facility at Chums Corners.
“Approachability is key for small business owners. It’s daunting to go to financial institutions. That’s what Laura and Venture North get right, you can talk to them candidly about your business needs. I highly recommend them to other entrepreneurs, particularly women-owned businesses.”