Hello world! It has been about a week since our announcement to file Chapter 11. What that means is we are still in business and looking for someone to buy out our debt. It’s taken a bit to process and grieve. This wasn’t an easy choice for us, except, well, it was kind of the only choice left.
Before COVID, before the shut downs, we had just started to recover from a year of struggle in our business. We released a CBD line, we changed our labels to something fun and shiny, and we were heading into creating a tap room. Then COVID hit and took us out at the knees. The government help just barely kept us afloat this long. It was like being put on life support without much of a life expectancy. Being a luxury item, our sales were lower than we had ever seen them. We aren’t flour, toilet paper, or beans…
NessAlla Kombucha was started 12 years ago in May of 2008. We were the world’s first craft kombucha company! We started at the East Side Farmers Market in Madison, WI with a card table and an umbrella- more like a lemonade stand, than anything. We built a name for ourselves literally from the ground up. We used credit cards and small family loans to get us started and the Madison community embraced us.
We have always been focused on integrity. Integrity in our product, ourselves and our community. We wanted to actually impact people’s lives and to make a difference by improving the health of those around us. We made so many beautiful connections doing farmers markets and small trade shows, many of them are still in our lives today. Every year we were growing without really having to try and we got comfortable with that. We didn’t seem to need any outside help other than our super kick ass staff. NessAlla has always attracted the strange, weird, wild and fantastic to our team. That’s part of who we are. We’ve been a lot of things, but ordinary is not one of them.
We have given thousands of dollars to groups like REAP and 1% for the Planet. We strongly believe in the local foods movement and that we all have a responsibility to the planet and future generations. We’ve donated, even when we didn’t necessarily have the funds, to grassroots projects and community-focused endeavors like DIAS, United Way, Urban Triage, and Freedom INC. We believe in supporting the environment, supporting our LGBTQIA+ community, our communities of color and the rights of all humans. We’ve been a part of countless fundraisers for schools, clean water, and community efforts.
It is our hope that we find a buyer for NessAlla who shares this mission. Who shares a passion for giving back and using their business as a vehicle for good. We are deeply saddened that it has come to this after such a long journey. We are confident and proud of the work we’ve done to create such kick ass products and a strong brand. We are incredibly grateful to this amazingly supportive Madison community. For those of you who want to know how to help, just keep buying that booch, baby!!
Gratefully and humbly,
Vanessa and Alla