[9/20/22] Comadre: A Spanish word meaning "co-mother" ; mothers, grandmothers, sisters, friends, and partners who are part of a woman's circle of support, strength, and love. Komadre Kombucha Taproom on Tacoma's 6th Avenue pays tribute to this idea, as well as its founder's Latina roots, in its name.
The "mother" in kombucha is a term commonly given to the disc of cellulose that forms during the fermentation process and is essential to give the fermented tea drink its distinctive tang and sought-after health benefits. Without mothers, there could truly be no kombucha.
It's fitting then that Julie Davidson, founder and owner of Komadre Kombucha, is a mother herself—as well as an entrepreneur, mentor, and former CEO. Prior to venturing into the world of Kombucha brewing, Julie worked for many years in the consulting field, running a firm that specialized in leadership development programs for organizations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her hobby of crafting home-brewed kombucha for herself and friends took on new momentum. In a time that brought dark clouds of uncertainty for many small businesses, Julie saw a bright spot of opportunity. She had dreamed of one day starting her own business since childhood. Now seemed like the perfect chance to do just that. Before long, her brewing operation had moved from her kitchen countertops into a storefront in Tacoma's 6th Avenue Business District.
Komadre is the first Kombucha Taproom to open in Tacoma, and the only Latina-owned taproom of any kind in Pierce County. Julie credits much of her success to her own comrades, the women in her life who have cheered her on and provided resources, support, and encouragement to follow her dream. Being of Central American and Caribbean heritage, Julie says she was surrounded by strong female presences and matriarchal leaders from a young age in her household and community. Julie hopes to share this spirit of collaboration and community by being a comadre herself to others in need of guidance and support. She states that her biggest value and business practice is "to bring along and uplift other women and people of color/Latinx entrepreneurs.
Through Komadre Kombucha, Julie is already accomplishing this goal in many ways. In her time as an entrepreneur, she says that she has realized one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is simply finding a storefront to sell their products and services. To help with this, Komadre has space available in its storefront for other retailers, small businesses, and creators to display and sell their products. In Komadre's tiendita, meaning "little shop," one can find products ranging from handmade earrings, to glassware, to t-shirts. Many of these creations are made and sold by women and Latinx artists, which has the dual benefit of uplifting these entrepreneurs as well as bringing vibrant pops of culture to Komadre's storefront.
The cultural exchange and celebration taking place in Komadre are undeniable. Julie casually converses with customers in both English and Spanish, making everyone feel at home inside the taproom. In the near future, Komadre will be partnering with the University of Puget Sound to host a social space for Latinx students to study and relax. The taproom is also planning to host a student concert series. In October, Komadre will be participating in the 6th Avenue Business District's Dia de los Muertos celebration. Looking toward the future, Julie says she would love to see Komadre host more language exchange events and programs where people can practice speaking Spanish while enjoying a refreshing glass of kombucha.
Komadre Kombucha is currently sold in retail locations across the South Sound. Julie participated in and graduated from the Pierce County Business Accelerator, which helped get her business off the ground and secure resources. Komadre was also a recipient of support through the Comcast RISE program in 2021.
This Member Feature story is part of a series by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to promote stronger connections and increased engagement between the Chamber, its members, and the local business community. Member stories are non-promotional opportunities to share members' business stories with the community. If you are a Chamber member interested in being featured for a story, please contact Digital Marketing Outreach Coordinator Audrey Widner at firstname.lastname@example.org
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