Dec 15, 2020

Minnedosa, Manitoba

Boho Soul Kombucha

Story by Ian Smith Photo by Ken Frazer

In the middle of a global pandemic, it’s easy to find information on how to avoid getting sick. For Magen Swift of Boho Soul Kombucha, inspiring people to stay healthy is a missing part of the conversation.

A licensed practical nurse by trade, Magen is keenly aware of the dangers of COVID-19. Yet, it was her own battle with an autoimmune disorder in 2015 that inspired her to change her diet and lifestyle and put her on a crash course of the fantastic health benefits of fermented food. 

That was when Boho Soul Kombucha was born. 

After receiving a “scoby” (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast used to ferment food and drink) from a friend, Magen began to brew her own Kombucha, perfecting the process through trial and error. 

In 2018, when a local Minnedosa coffee shop opened up, Magen dove right in. She asked to produce her product in their kitchen, sell it out front and take her unique brand of Kombucha to the world. 

As demand boomed, space was in short supply, and Magen quickly realized that a move was in order. In February of 2019, Boho Soul opened its own commercial space, launching a marketplace and eatery offering various fermented foods and other health products. 

Later that fall, as foot traffic grew, so did people’s desire to explore new flavours, spurring Boho Soul to purchase new equipment and increase their capacity. Growing by nearly ten times enabled them to meet growing demand and capitalize on opportunities to place their product in large retail outlets around the province. 

2020 was looking promising, and business was thriving. 

That’s when the bottom dropped out. 

Swift remembers, “we were worried that we might not make it through COVID. Tons of businesses don’t make it past five years anyway, nevermind throwing a pandemic in there. So it was stressful, to say the least.”

Wholesale orders for retail decreased dramatically, and other locations weren’t willing to look at any new products. With most of their profits from in-store visits, COVID cut off Kombucha sales at the knees, leading Magen to look for other ways to make income. 

Sparking up an online store and offering curbside pick-up helped, but tucked away in the back of Magen’s initial business plan was the idea of offering fermented food boxes alongside her Kombucha. 

With her website developed, these healthy food boxes could be ordered as a subscription or be pre-ordered and scheduled for pick-up or delivery. They became a welcome boost to her sales and reprieve to the ravaging effects of the restrictions.

Swift shared, “COVID forced me to stop and look at how we were operating. Kombucha is my passion, but I needed other income streams, so creating the fermented food boxes has been huge, especially over this holiday season.” 

Like many solopreneurs, Magen works countless hours producing, selling and even delivering her product while keeping up with the demanding protocols needed to keep her clients safe during the pandemic. Regardless of the sacrifices, Swift revealed the real fuel that keeps her going day after day. 

“You can see the testimonies I have on my site of how my product has helped people. For me, with the changes I made to my diet and lifestyle, as of this May on my doctor’s advice, I am now off all of my medication.” 

Trying Boho Soul Kombucha is one of the best-tasting ways you can support local this holiday season while enjoying all the fantastic health benefits that go along with it. Check out their online store, visit a local online retailer or pick them up in person at a local store near you. 

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