Melissa Ly is a regular at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market with her hand-crafted kombucha.
After 20 years of boutique management and retail sales I was ready for a change, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I really love making kombucha so after much encouragement from friends and family, I decided to resign from my job to take my obsession to the next level.
What do you love about kombucha?
It’s alive and I devote a lot of time to looking after my cultures. I call them “my girls - Mama Cass and her Supremes.” They have become part of our family. I introduced my Mum to kombucha last year and we are always comparing notes - we're both obsessed!
Why name it Something Big is Brewing?
I wanted something to the reflect the fun and life of a living, hand-crafted product. I was delighted with the design that Ashley Van Amsterdam came up with. She’s an artist who has since become a tattoo apprentice. I really love her creativity!
How has it been going?
I started in March this year and already our kombucha is stocked at The Midnight Baker, Commonsense Organics, and GG’s Cafe in Hamilton. I love working the markets. I'm out at Oratia on Saturdays and Grey Lynn on Sunday mornings, where I can give people samples of our product to try. Every kombucha brand really does taste quite different. Each brand has its own unique flavour profile because we all use different recipes and brewing methods. I've had fabulous feedback. Lots of people are really surprised at how good it tastes and always comment on the gingery flavour and the natural bubbles.
How did you decide on Grey Lynn Farmers Market?
I met Rebekah Hay and she spoke about how important Grey Lynn was for her when she started Hakanoa Ginger Beer. Then I met Leon Narbey who had mentioned that he sells his artisan olive oil at Grey Lynn - he suggested that it would be a good fit for my kombucha.
What has surprised you most since you started?
The number of children who have become fans of our kombucha. They're all very familiar with many fermented foods as part of their daily diet - they really are amazing!
Grey Lynn Farmers Market: every Sunday 9am until sold out.