Apii McLeod says she has positive feedback from those who buy her kombucha, saying it helps with digestion, reduces bloating and increases energy. But McLeod says besides all that, it’s just a great-tasting and refreshing drink.
She started making kombucha seriously in about 2016 but had been drinking it for a few years before that.
“I was making it for myself, but demand got me going,” and now she sells her fresh and fruity healthy drink from her McLeod’s Pearls business in Avarua. She also supplies the New Place Café with soursop and passionfruit flavours, as well as her traditional ginger and turmeric.
“They all have a ginger and turmeric base, which is good for digestion and inflammation,” she says.
“It’s taken up over one room in the house and my kitchen, and my time and almost my life,” she says. However, she swears by the product and drinks it herself daily.
McLeod says the whole process takes about two to four weeks for the first ferment, and then a second ferment to make it carbonated takes around another three to five days.
“I was pretty much self-taught, although I did watch YouTube to see how they did it.”
She sells the 500ml bottles for $5 and $8 for the fruity varieties.
McLeod also makes kefir water, another fermented drink, for herself.
“I’m experimenting with mixing them both, it could be a thing down the line.”
Her ice cream was developed along similar lines: a love for soursop, a love for ice cream and an experimental streak.
The soursop ice cream came about after she purchased an ice-cream maker.
“I like the taste of soursop and I wondered if it would make good ice-cream. I tried it out and it worked. I thought, ‘oh yum I’m onto something here’.”
Smooth, rich and creamy like conventional ice-cream, the product has a fruity and more subtle sweetness, with coconut undertones.
It is available at Wendy’s Hut next to Body Fuel along with the Kombucha, but once refrigeration is sorted it will be also be available at Hut 23.
In the meantime you can buy kombucha and order soursop ice-cream from McLeod’s Pearls.