We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Flam and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rebecca, what role has risk played in your life or career?

Starting a health food brand ahead of a global pandemic- talk about risk! I’ve always been attracted to projects that disrupt industries and create lasting impact on  people’s lives, and nothing felt more natural or impactful than launching rembucha and sharing this functional beverage with the world.

Still, pursuing this goal throughout the pandemic wasn’t easy. As a self-funded small business, I’ve had to make hard decisions on where I can spend to grow my brand. But in those moments that felt most risky, I knew that the core values of my business- education, transparency, conscious consumerism- were important enough to push for.

Navigating growth in the last year, I was lucky enough to reach out to my community for help, whether that was encouraging them to buy, asking questions about business growth, or even looking for feedback on our product. Now, we are once more looking to our community for help, and we know that we have a business worth believing in!

We are planning to launch our crowdfunding page on WeFunder in the next month. Thanks to a new law launched in 2016 called Regulation Crowdfunding, it is now  legal for everyone to invest small amounts of money in the startups they believe in. Up to that point, it was incredibly difficult for the average person to become an investor. Crowdfunding allows communities like ours to discover and invest in projects they believe in. We know that this is the best way to reach our loyal community of followers, as well as expand our community to include even more conscious consumers interested in making an investment in the future of health.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

rembucha is a functional, tasty, bubbly beverage combining probiotics and full-spectrum water-soluble hemp extract for a unique wellness experience. Each bottle of rembucha contains kombucha made with all-natural, kosher ingredients combined with 20mg of water-soluble hemp extract. The result is a beverage that can be taken daily which is believed to produce an immediate euphoric effect as well as long-term benefits.

Like many navigating the corporate world at a young age, I found myself in my late twenties grappling with all-consuming stress and struggling with digestion issues. My curiosity and search for a remedy ultimately led me to create rembucha, a beverage that combines whole foods with the power of hemp extract.

For me, the shift to brewing kombucha commercially and sharing this combination of CBD and kombucha with the world was a seamless one. Health and wellness are increasing priorities in the “new now”. rembucha addresses a consumer’s need for an accessible, functional beverage that keeps you feeling balanced and energized every day.

As a brand, rembucha is dedicated to education and conscious consumerism, and we aim to be a source of information on the benefits of these two power ingredients and how they can be combined in a more holistic lifestyle.

All that said- none of this was easy! Coming from a background in fashion and transitioning to the CPG world, I felt the pressure of having to learn about a whole new sector. Connecting with consumers and networking during a pandemic made our launch even trickier, and we faced lots of pivots in our plans to accommodate the new normal. Soft launching into a new market, we knew momentum was key. In the last year, we’ve been lucky enough to scale parts of rembucha to introduce the brand to our local communities, and in the absence of in-person sales and events opportunities, we decided to launch our ecommerce site. We also took to digital events and socially distanced interactions to get the word out!

What we didn’t anticipate was how the pandemic would impact a sense of community: we were met with fellow business owners who offered to help guide us through the process, answer questions, and even partner with us on events. We were able to gain traction with customers in local shops as well as with contactless deliveries through our website, and we participated in local fairs. However, as we continue to scale we are still in competition with larger kombucha and health beverage companies with greater access to funding and a more established brand presence.

It’s really all about trusting your gut! We’ve had our share of ups and downs, mentors and advisors galore, but what I’ve learned is it’s really about your drive to share your idea and trusting your gut on what to do next. From rembucha and beyond, this is a lesson that’s remained true in everything that I’ve done.

Through this process, we’ve been so fortunate to connect with our community, and hear just how much our neighbors and customers love rembucha. They inspire us to keep this brand alive. We want everyone to have access to a functional beverage like rembucha. We decided to launch a crowdfunding page to help us reach our financial goals and commercialize rembucha to make it accessible for everyone! You can stay connected on our social media (@rembucha) for the crowdfunding launch details at the end of June  2021.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

The best thing about NYC to me is that there is always something going on and to see and eat, explore- art to me feeds my soul and I’m so lucky to live in the best city to explore different artists, cultures, foods, and communities. Brooklyn has its own unique vibe. Having lived in Williamsburg for 11 years now, I love that I have access to the best parts of the city  when it comes to food and hang-out spots. This itinerary gives a touch of some sightseeing and pockets of exploration of different parts of the city and even features some of my favorite holistic shops that I’ve frequented along my health journey (bonus: grab a rembucha at High Vibe!).

Thursday:

-Brunch at Flora Bar at the Met Breuer

-Almine Rech Gallery to see an exhibit then walk in Central Park and chill for a bit on the lawn and then head to The Frick Collection to see what’s showing.

-I’d suggest we walk to the East River Ferry and head back to Williamsburg/Greenpoint for sunset drinks on the Brooklyn Barge

-Then dinner at Oxomoco

Friday:

-Breakfast at Gerties in Williamsburg

-Then head into the city to Chelsea to pop through all the galleries David Zwirner,Luhring Augustine Gallery, Kasmin Gallery to name a few

-Walk the highline a bit until Chelsea Market and hang around there a bit

-Lunch at Pastis

-Walk around West Village,maybe catch some live jazz music on the streets

-Sunset drinks/dinner at The Grand Banks

Saturday:

-Head early to get in line for Edith’s in Williamsburg, they have the best breakfast sandwiches

-Walk to McCarren park for a picnic and hang in the park

-Happy hour hangs at The Lot Radio

-Misi for dinner

Sunday:

-Brunch at The Butchers daughter in Nolita

-Walk around Nolita and explore the boutique shops

-Head to The Alchemists Kitchen to pick up some tinctures and remedies and then to High Vibe to snag a rembucha and to pick up some amazing holistic products

-Lunch at Lola Taverna

-Book a Higher Dose evening apt at the Howard Hotel

-Dinner at ABC/V

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I owe a lot to my gut, believe it or not! In 2016, I read “The Mind-Gut Connection” by Dr. Emeran Mayer. The idea that my gut impacted every facet of my life- my mental health as well as my physical- blew my mind and changed the way I looked at food forever! Since then, I’ve embarked on my own gut health journey and discovered even more spaces where innovators were leaning into the impact of gut health on our lives. You’ll frequently find me listening to the “Mindbodygreen” podcast by Jason Wachob, or checking out the latest recipes and tips from the founders at Sakara (they love using fermented foods and probiotics in their meal plans!). I’ve been so touched by this work, and I knew I wanted to get in the game and share rembucha as a part of this story.

Community is a cornerstone of rembucha, and I owe all of rembucha’s success to our community here in New York. From my first experience brewing kombucha with a friend in Brooklyn, to all my friends out West who have shared a huge part in my digestive health journey, I’ve found there’s always been a listening ear to bounce an idea off of, share good news, or get feedback to help my business grow.

Website: https://www.rembucha.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rembucha/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-flam-a5a41635/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWgBfB77sgs

Image Credits
Megan Madden Francesca Magnani Gerald Sievers

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.