It's not often that we meet a maker whose been honing their craft since adolescence-- but Susan, of Radiate Miami, is an exception. She's been making kombucha since age 14! Passionate about health, Susan's career in hospitality and nutrition mostly manifested itself in the form of teaching and coaching. It wasn't until she opened Radiate Apothecary at the Wynwood Yard that she started selling her kombucha and other fermented foods with the aim of supporting local farmers. The kombucha took on a life of its own, and before she knew it, Radiate was bubbling up at establishments throughout Miami. As the business grows, Susan continues to teach, mindful to bring the conversation back to its roots: "cultivating culture and community" to make holistic living more accessible to all.
The vibrant and bright packaging of Radiate Kombucha is reflected in the drink itself: it's bubbly, light--yet bold-- in flavor, and refreshing. Susan sources all-organic ingredients, including locally grown ones like the ginger in turquoise-blue-colored Mermaid Majik. The kombucha begins with cold brewed tea (ensuring high antioxidants and less caffeine), local and vegan cane sugar, and a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) which digests the sugars and creates bubbles over the 10 to 14 day fermentation process. Susan sets gem stones atop the cloth jar coverings, playing mantras for the growing culture. The liquid then undergoes a second fermentation with natural flavorings such as fruit and spices. These processes creates a drink that is rich in enzymes and in probiotics, live microorganisms that help to absorb and digest nutrients and, ultimately, improve gut health.
IN THE FERMENTATION LAB
Tico Aran, Susan's partner at Radiate Miami and in life, is similarly passionate about sustainable sourcing. Here he seals a batch of Piña Caliente kombucha made with pineapple, turmeric, and a hit of cayenne. Radiate launched the cans in 2019 in an effort to lessen their carbon footprint, as glass bottles were no longer being recycled in Miami-Dade County.