For many, the fermented tea beverage with a vinegary disposition symbolizes mysterious health benefits revealed only to those who frequent yoga studios, farmers markets and the health food aisles of grocery stores. For one local man, it’s a calling to change the narrative surrounding the kombucha culture by making its health and wellness benefits—and exciting tastes—accessible to the masses with Snohomish County’s first kombucha microbrewery, GloryBucha.
Located in downtown Arlington, GloryBucha is the passion project turned career venture of former retailer and culinary artist Lowell Profit. The vision for GloryBucha came to fruition when Profit and his business partner, Debra Chrapaty, aspired to build an environment that encourages everyone to experience the “flavor, fizz, fabulous” of kombucha.
“We wanted to create a place for people to enjoy kombucha in a way that’s educational and fun,” said Profit. “A place that brings people together.”
Inspired by Profit’s New Orleans roots, GloryBucha’s café-style setting infuses vibrant colors and jazz music to create an atmosphere that’s festive yet smooth. This celebratory vibe reflects the brewery’s steadfast slogan, “Drink smart. Feel glorious.” It also accompanies patrons along their journey to discovering the natural, revitalizing and delicious tastes of GloryBucha’s unique flavors such as Ramona (dragon fruit and lavender), Marley Ginger (an effervescent health tonic with apples and ginger) and Berry Mix-A-Lot (a “jammy” blend of black tea, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries).
In addition to sourcing its ingredients from local small businesses and farmers, what makes GloryBucha unique is a brewing process that minimizes the use of sugar and yeast. This process creates a sparkling beverage that maximizes health benefits such as increased energy, weight loss and mental and physical well-being. Hoping to achieve these long-term health benefits—and more—is what fueled Profit’s own experimentation with brewing kombucha.
Once an avid soda drinker, Profit incorporated kombucha into his diet after deciding to make healthier lifestyle choices. Determined to create a brew to optimize health, Profit began brewing his own small-batch kombucha at his home in 2014.
“I learned about brewing from a friend who brewed beer every weekend and I decided to try the process myself—but with kombucha,” said Profit.
After sharing his concoctions with family and friends, it wasn’t long before the demand outgrew his modest operation. It was during this time that a serendipitous encounter between Profit and Chrapaty, a tech executive with an affinity for kombucha, led to a business partnership that eventually opened the doors to GloryBucha in 2018.
“Debra had the passion for kombucha,” said Profit. “Her business savvy and my skills as a brew master were the perfect blend for starting a commercial business.”
Establishing the GloryBucha microbrewery gave Profit a platform for not only expanding his customer base through distribution, but also reaching communities that are new to the world of kombucha.
“Many of our clients are new to kombucha or they have tried it and don’t like it,” said Profit. “But once they try our stuff, they become fanatics.”
Amid gaining a loyal following that drew the admiration of atypical kombucha lovers from around the region, GloryBucha’s momentum took a bit of a tumble with the onset of COVID-19. Plans for growth were put on hold and a key distributor was forced to part ways with the microbrewery. The setback forced the duo to rethink their distribution strategy.
“We have been able to keep our doors open through it all,” said Profit. “But our partners are hurting. We’ve been feeling it in how we connect with people who usually find our product in target areas like colleges and restaurants. Those opportunities are no longer available.”
Just as the door to distribution seemed to close on GloryBucha, another one opened—and it opened wide. After catching the attention and tastebuds of a member from Kroger’s corporate team, GloryBucha is now on its way to shelves of QFC locations throughout the area—beginning in April—with the possibility of national distribution in the near future.
“We knew distribution would help us survive the pandemic,” said Profit. “We wanted to change the game with our growth, but we had no idea it would happen this soon.”
This new distribution opportunity should help GloryBucha reclaim the momentum it needs to build its microbrewery empire throughout Snohomish County and beyond. While Profit and Chrapaty are excited about the growth potential, their efforts are focused on continuing to deliver on GloryBucha’s mission of helping people make healthy lifestyle choices with kombucha.
“We’re excited to enter this next phase of GloryBucha,” said Profit. “We’re excited to expand our awareness and bring more people into the kombucha family.”
Ramona—“Very unique blend with Dragon fruit and lavender.”
Strawberry Fields—“Black Tea and real strawberries. Light and bubbly, pure strawberry yumminess.”
Berry Mix-A-Lot—“This jammy blend of black tea, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries is packed full of very berry goodness.”
Marley Ginger—“Marley Ginger is a JUN which is an effervescent health tonic similar to kombucha, but made with green tea and honey rather than black tea and sugar. We mix apples with just the right amount of ginger to create this wonderfully invigorating JUN.”
Nick has a professional background rich in digital marketing and media. His work has appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The New York Post, The Post-Standard and on MSN.com, among other publications. He has a graduate degree in journalism from Syracuse University, as well as creative writing and philosophy degrees from Seattle University. He lives in Everett and spends his free time playing and coaching baseball, running half marathons, and seeing as much live music as possible.