The area’s favorite kombucha manufacturer is once again going after your heart (actually your entire immune system). Gayle Galbraith from the Federal Brewing Company in Federalsburg announced that she’s expanding her well-known kombucha business and adding a line of CBD health-based products.
The last time we spoke to Galbraith, at the end of 2019, she and partner Stan Nowak were talking about renovating their 3-story 100-year old former bank building to accommodate a 50-barrel brewhouse for their burgeoning kombucha business. Local stores and restaurants were carrying their fermented tea beverage, and area farmers’ markets were selling out of the most popular varieties.
And then COVID hit.
But amid the worldwide health crisis, Galbraith noticed something unusual. People began thinking more about their health. Which, as luck would have it, was precisely the business her company specialized in–supporting a healthy immune system.
Nevertheless, any growth plans were put on hold. “We pulled back the reins on increasing our production,” said Galbraith, “meaning that we did not invest in more equipment or the build-out of our headquarters. I thought, let’s just see how this thing goes. Because at my core, I am a mom, and if something happens to me, because of this damn pandemic, I do not want to leave my family in debt.” As it turned out, with the help of a grant, she didn’t need to, and the kombucha business continued to operate.
In many ways, Galbraith is used to dealing with crises. As she herself describes it, in October of 2016, she died. Well, more precisely, flat-lined–multiple times–after a stroke led to a cardiac arrest. Meeting her now, you’d never know she had dealt with a serious health problem nor guess the long process that she went through to regain her strength and mental ability.
That’s exactly why this new business opportunity made sense. “I realized,” said Galbraith, “that not everyone eats, drinks, or uses the kind of medicine that I use. And it occurred to me that I needed to share this information and resources with people. So, I looked into the CBD products, which I had used in my stroke recovery. There is a lot of scientific evidence out there that was showing that it really is good for brain trauma, dementia, or Alzheimer’s. It worked for me.”
Despite the increasing popularity of CBD products and their acceptance into the mainstream, Galbraith is aware that there is still a stigma associated with their purchase. Not to mention not knowing where the product was coming from.
So just like when she began the kombucha business, Galbraith went to the experts. “I interviewed many and ended up with a company that has invested a lot of money in their equipment and the scientists they have on staff. It’s an FDA-approved facility, the product is safe, tested, and they can provide certificates of analysis. It’s not just somebody in the back room making oils.”
In selecting the manufacturer, Galbraith also considered her prospective clients, especially those employed by the government or those whose careers require a drug test. “I needed to make sure there was no risk of anyone losing their jobs because they were eating CBD gummies or taking a tincture or using a pain cream. So, I wanted to be able to give them the confidence of using a non-psychoactive version of CBD. ”
The products are being offered on a monthly subscription basis and shipped to your door in discreet and sophisticated packaging. But be prepared for something special to be included. “I’d like to always offer something extra in the box that the customer didn’t pay for. And I would like to be able to feature other local business owners who are producing products that are good for your health. So, whenever possible, we’re going to throw in the box something from small business owners and give information on how they can buy those products from that business.”
Galbraith is feeling really positive about her offerings, and she’s thankful that her kombucha business is still vibrant. “I call what I’m offering the kombucha lifestyle because, to me, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not just drinking kombucha. It’s the pausing for a little bit, it’s appreciating what you have, and it’s being willing to work for and serve others. It’s having the attitude that we are in this together. I mean, kombucha is a metaphor for life. It is a colony of different living organisms working together for the greater good and for healing.”
For more information on the Federal Brewing products, go to: https://www.fedbrew.com