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June 3

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Read about how Frost Beer is made in Food For Thought!


Frost Beer Works will be at the Co-op June 8th (3-5pm)


Garin and Christina Frost of Frost Beer Works

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Producer of the Month: Katalyst Kombucha PDF Print E-mail

by Andee Bingham
March 2012

Inspired by a pre-existing affinity for cultured foods, such as tempeh, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread, Katalyst Kombucha was founded in 2005 by Will Savitri and Jeff Canter. Kombucha, an effervescent tea-based drink, is made by fermenting tea and sugar using a mass of yeast and bacteria known as a culture. This culture looks somewhat like a pancake, and is often referred to as a “mushroom” or “mother”. Because of the necessity of a culture, making kombucha is a lot like making sourdough. Katalyst Kombucha starts with a blend of organic green and black teas that are brewed with organic evaporated cane juice, paired with a culture and left to ferment for 3-4 weeks (depending on the season) in a ceramic crock. This fermentation process converts the sugar into organic acids and carbon dioxide, as well as producing B-vitamins and an assortment of probiotics. Kombucha has been known to balance metabolism, detoxify the body, enhance the immune system, and raise overall energy levels.
Katalyst Kombucha, located in Greenfield, MA, now employs around a dozen people and distributes their product to over 200 natural food stores and cafes throughout the New England region. Their commitment to quality and sustainability is what sets them apart from the rest. Not only are the ingredients dependably organic, but Katalyst Kombucha is always looking for local options that meet their quantity demands and quality standards. After fermentation, some varieties of the kombucha are flavored with locally-sourced schizandraberries (a unique and complex berry not often found outside of its native northern China) and blueberries. Both fruits are processed in-house for maximum potency and freshness. All of their ingredients, local or not, are obtained in responsible and conscious ways. Katalyst Kombucha has worked hard to ensure that the tea they purchase has been Fair Trade certified by Transfair. This certification ensures that the farm where the tea is grown meets specific standards for the wages, living situations, and working conditions of its harvesters. For each tea purchase, a Fair Trade premium goes straight to the harvesters and their community. This dedication to fairness is concreted in their mission statement, where they vow to provide the highest quality raw and organic kombucha products, while utilizing business practices that promote healing and longevity for people and the planet. They are part of a movement of companies who have committed themselves to prioritizing human rights and the environment above profit.

Though the majority of the drink is packaged and sold in glass bottles, several of Katalyst Kombucha’s accounts are delivered in kegs. These kegs are sold to cafes, restaurants, and stores, and with less packaging waste, they are ecologically sound and closely aligned with Katalyst Kombucha’s Earth-conscious values. From these kegs, customers can fill their own containers, saving plastic and glass from the landfill or recycling center. They are working to expand the number of keg accounts that they have, and to make it a strong and growing part of their business.

Though the freshly pressed ginger and fruit juices that are added to the kombucha are sure to pack a punch, Katalyst Kombucha carefully monitors the pH levels and bottles the drink when it gets to just the right balance point, before the acid has a chance to overpower the flavors of teas and juice. Within this range of mild to tangy flavors, there is bound to be a match for just about everyone!

Stop by the Co-op between 11am and 3pm on Friday, March 16th to sample this unique and healing beverage that will tingle your senses!