ST. LOUIS — The first retail location for Komblu Kombucha will take over a portion of the former Riefling Auto Co. building at 2501 South Jefferson. 2,000 square feet will become part kombucha bar, part gallery for local artists.
Komblu Founder Andria Garcia said, "For Fox Park for South Jefferson, the vibe there and the community is so amazing. You just get out of your car and you feel it. So, that’s what we want to keep going."
Show Me St. Louis first featured Komblu, an organic fermented tea, back in October 2019, at their Fenton brewery. But this will be the first time Komblu will have a retail location open to the public.
Danny Zofness, co-curator of the new space, said, "The idea is like they are going to brew the tea in the back, the front of the house is going to be a big open space, kombucha bar and curate these local artists in the space as a design element as well as to purchase."
Garcia is collaborating with Zofness to make it a welcoming space for local artists to show their work.
Garcia said, "We're making it an area where we can bring in artists into our space. And we can rotate those artists. Galleries oftentimes take 80% and artists get only 20%. We're going to do reverse."
They say kombucha, a fermented tea, and art is a perfect match.
Zofness said, "I think art can be healing in the same way kombucha is, in fact, healing."
They expect the space, yet to be named, to open in April of 2021.
And the ideas for it keep coming.
Garcia said, "Also teaching people how to make kombucha. It is cheap to make. It's just that I use high end ingredients, so it's different. But if you can make kombucha and learn how to do it, like how awesome is that, and you can pay it forward."
Speaking of paying it forward, life has really come full circle for Andrea, who was homeless in 2005, and lived out of her car for nearly 3 years.
She said, "To fast forward to now, to be able to give back to the community where I came from; the Dream Center, St. Patrick’s Center; it's all about the heartbeat and love movement right now."
All of this success hasn't really sunk in yet for Andrea.
"You know, if it ever did. I hope somebody slaps me. Maybe I've hit my growth. Yeah, it's capped off. So, no. I'm always going to be striving for more and going after it. I mean, until it's done, it's never ending,” she said.