Humm Kombucha to Build East Coast Facility in City of Roanoke

Humm will employ approximately 50 and invest $10 million.

Humm Kombucha, one of the fastest-growing kombucha companies in the United States has announced it will build an East Coast manufacturing facility in the city of Roanoke.

The company, based in Bend, OR, will invest approximately $10 million in a 100,000-square-foot facility to be built on a 12-acre site in the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology where it will employ approximately 50 people.

Humm is the second Bend-based company to locate in Roanoke, following the 2016 announcement that Deschutes Brewery will build a brewery in the same industrial park.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership estimates this project will have a $58 million annual economic impact on the regional economy and create or retain approximately 110 additional jobs in the economy according to the IMPLAN economic model.

Co-founders Michelle Mitchell and Jamie Danek said, “Roanoke is filled with genuinely good people. The residents love Roanoke, have so much pride in where they live and many simply wouldn’t live anywhere else. Their outdoor amenities and culture are a huge part of their day to day. This environment and vibe is very similar to Bend. Aligning with a similar culture is a must to the ethos of our company. Combine that with Roanoke’s central location and the low cost of doing business there, and we’ve found the perfect second home for Humm.“

“Roanoke is honored to be the East Coast location of Humm Kombucha,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.  “I want to express my appreciation to the company for bringing its operation to Roanoke.”

“Through its friendship with Deschutes, Humm saw that the Roanoke region was a good fit from both business and cultural perspectives,” said Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership.  “Being the East Coast home of Humm Kombucha just adds energy to what is going on here.”

The company was created when the co-founders had an idea that Mitchell’s homebrewed kombucha would be enjoyed by many.  In 2009, they started brewing in bulk, creating new flavors, and selling their product at farmers markets and by home delivery.  Success led to hiring staff and moving into larger production facilities. Today, Humm employs 100 in Bend. Humm is available in 50 states as well as Sweden and in outlets such as Target, Safeway, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Publix.

Kombucha (kom-boo-cha) is one of the fastest growing segments of the beverage market.  It is a lightly-effervescent fermented tea made by combining sweet tea with something called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).  The beverage is known as a source of energy and is full of vitamins and probiotics.

The City of Roanoke, Roanoke Economic Development Authority, Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City with the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Construction will begin soon and the company expects to be in operation in 2019.