Recently, there was a tragic fire at the Magic Kombucha production facility and warehouse storage site. This business is an Olympia treasure, one that produces a very popular beverage here at the Co-op.
The Olympia Food Co-op Chill Managers have come together to find ways to support the re-building of the business by posting information on the cooler doors, and donating remaining backstock to Rachel to help her effort to rebuild her supply of kombucha mothers.
They are also encouraging folks who might have un-opened bottles to do the same.
a letter from Magic Kombucha
hello fabulous customers & friends. i write with a heavy heart & some tragic news—as some of you may have heard, the magic kombucha warehouse burned to the ground late last night. it’s a total loss. fortunately nobody was hurt or injured. the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
obviously magic operations are on hold indefinitely while we sort out insurance claims & rebuilding plans…at this point it’s hard to estimate how long such things will take, but we are determined to rise out of this stronger, healthier & more impassioned than ever. in the meantime, we may need to do some crowdfunding to cover unexpected &/or legal expenses. we will keep you posted.
thanks for loving our booch, & being such a supportive, loving family of rad local businesses. please keep those good vibes coming. xoxo
Anyone who’s ever been lucky enough to sip Magic Kombucha knows that the name isn’t an exaggeration. The stuff is pure joy, brewed and “Bottled by Geniuses” (says so right on the label!)…or more specifically brewed and bottled by owner Rachel Carns and her 8 employees – artists, musicians, writers, performers – who lost their entire livelihood in a devastating fire that took out their 100-year-old warehouse in the wee hours of July 5, 2016.
The entire Magic operation is a loss. Everything is gone, literally up in smoke, with nothing left but a blackened skeleton of a building and piles of twisted metal and scorched green bottles. It’s truly a heartbreaking sight. Even more tragic is the fact that the employees are left with no income for an indefinite period – and this is where Magic can use your immediate help.
Let’s take a moment to paint a happier picture, because there’s something special about Magic Kombucha. They brew their kombucha in small batches (using Olympia’s famous artesian well water!), & fill, cap, & label each bottle by hand. Each kombucha tub, now lost, had a tag, named for pets, friends, ancestors, revolutionaries, cultural icons. The love and care that goes into their “booch” – a sweet-sour, bubbly fermented health tonic made with organic green tea – has made Magic a beloved staple of Olympia and beyond. Even the Seattle Seahawks drink it for post-game recovery; their nutritionist puts it in their smoothies!
Magic had expanded production a few months back, so the warehouse was crammed to the gills with booch – literally floor to ceiling with just a narrow aisle to maneuver through, a full six months’ worth of bottled kombucha. They had just started selling in a number of stores in northern California, and their distributor was in the process of getting Magic Kombucha into 30 regional stores of a national grocery chain. They were poised to take things to the next level.
Unfortunately, as Magic had been growing rapidly, they were running on an outdated insurance policy from several years ago that is capped at $77,000 – a mere fraction of the costs needed to cover employee wages while out of work, finance building out a new space, and provide living expenses for Rachel and the crew during the first few months of production. Magic’s lost product inventory alone is estimated at over $175,000, and that doesn’t include equipment. They are going to need immediate emergency financial assistance to help get them through the weeks-to-months before the insurance pays out – & to help cover the many losses and expenses that their insufficient insurance policy won’t.
Rebuilding the company is further complicated by the fact that you Just Can’t Rush Kombucha: from start to finish, the Magic brew needs 3-4 months (depending on weather) to properly ripen. That means 3-4 months of full-time work before income starts coming in.
Beyond that, this timeline doesn’t account for the weeks it will take to grow new kombucha cultures from scratch, or how long it will take to find a new space and build it out to Magic’s unique production needs. Magic’s employees may be without work for quite a while.
It’s a sad picture, but with your help it is also a rare opportunity to rebuild a Magic Kombucha that is stronger, healthier, and more impassioned than ever. Many have reached out to offer kind words and emotional support, and the Magic family is truly feeling the love. If you can, please consider donating to help bring that love to the table. However you can help, in word or deed, the entire Magic crew is eternally grateful, totally humbled, and in awe of the support and love from Magic Kombucha lovers near and far.
Posted on July 15, 2016 by Friends of Magic Kombucha
HEADING TOWARD $9000!!!thank you friends. Magic has a long road ahead, so don’t stop now! please continue sharing this page & giving if you can. still embroiled in insurance red tape…will post more info when we have a clearer picture of what might happen. meanwhile, we are putting out a call for HALF GALLON OR LARGER GLASS JARS!if you are in the olympia area & have some to spare, send us a facebook message– we’d love to take them off yr hands. MASSIVE SCOBY REGENERATION IN PROGRESS!
Posted on July 11, 2016 by Friends of Magic Kombucha
YAY! just passed $7000! this will help pay out partial wages for the Magic employees during the months of transition ahead. THANK YOU! we have a long way to go…& even if you can’t give money, there are many ways to help. local Magic fans & Olympia businesses have been donating their precious Magic Kombucha stock so we can grow new kombucha culture (better known as SCOBY, an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast); these booch angels have driven from port townsend, portland, seattle & beyond – every bottle counts! meanwhile, seattle komo news 4 interviewed Rachel & ran a clip on our story over the weekend – watch it here!
Posted on July 9, 2016 by Friends of Magic Kombucha
WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW you all are the best! only one day in & already at $4000!!! THANK YOU. days & days of endless meetings & messages & phone calls with insurance people & other insurance people & then some different insurance people…so happy the weekend is here. meanwhile, the local newspaper ran a cool story on Magic today–check it out by clicking here!