PJ Kombucha diversifies its online offering to sustain business

Company: PJ Kombucha

Supported by: NatWest Accelerator

Our Business

Birmingham-based PJ Kombucha is a family-owned and independent business producing authentic kombucha products. Kombucha is a fermented drink and is widely consumed for its health benefits.

Our Innovation

A lover of Kombucha, PJ Kombucha founder Patrick O’Connor experimented with Kombucha in his mothers Kitchen almost a decade ago whilst on a serious gut health journey. After being on antibiotics for 9 months, which resulted in gut disbiosis and sensitivities to foods he never had, Paddy started drinking Kombucha for the live cultures and all rounded health benefits. 

In 2016, Paddy began to produce Kombucha in the UK for family and friends and was soon encouraged to explore it as a business. With over 7 years’ experience in Kombucha production and with a background in scientific research, he put his skills to use and explored the UK market with his special blend of teas and traditional approach to Kombucha Brewing. 

The first batch of PJ Kombucha was brewed, in his partner’s mother’s kitchen in Birmingham, using a raw, organic SCOBY and with his secret blend of tea.   

Dedicated to producing fresh authentic Kombucha, every batch is brewed with a commitment to quality and the traditional processes. 

In 2017, PJ Kombucha expanded and, thanks to the help of his family, managed to move to a large, custom built manufacturing facility. To date, every bottle is still made with the same love and care, with all batches originating from the same original Mother Culture. 

COVID-19 Impact

Following the outbreak of coronavirus , Patrick saw the need to pivot his business and focus more on the online retail side of things. A NatWest customer, Patrick is working with bank manger on securing additional funding to sustain his business over this period.

He said: “I spoke to NatWest about a payment holiday and it was probably the easiest thing that I have ever done. I’ve also been able to extend my overdraft limit just to ensure I have some cashflow over this period. We are still getting a small amount of business, but we lost 85 per cent of business as  we supply cafes and shops which aren’t open.

“When I started the business, the focus was traditional retailers, but I am re-examining things over this period and plan to develop the online offering from there. My aim would be to get around 50 per cent of our normal business through online sales.”

“Patrick has shown his determination to succeed and has developed a sustainable plan to help him continue to operate over this period. We were delighted we could support him and wish every success for the future.”

Pam Sheemar, Entrepreneur Development Manager