By Any Other Name | The Source Weekly - Bend

By Any Other Name

From Kombucha Mama to Humm, a beverage company booms

A year ago, a local beverage manufacturer was going by the name of Kombucha Mama, and boasting a label with a lotus flower. It was a name and image that reflected the simple beginning for the company.

''It was about two moms taking care of the world," said Jamie Danek, one of the two original "mamas."

But as the drink's popularity grew, so did the company, from two women to more than 30 employees, and distribution expanded outside of Bend, reaching all the way to northern California and even Austin, Texas.

Over the course of several months leading up to February 2014, Danek worked with local ad agency tbd to consider new names, and a year ago, they rebranded to Humm.

"It's all about energy in a bottle," said Danek, who had just landed in Los Angeles where the company is expanding. The name also echoes the sound of the brewery itself and the energy level of its employees, she pointed out. She goes on to assure, "Maybe the label looks a little more mainstream, but the people and the recipe have not changed since day one."

The subsequent name change to Humm, however, has been a case-study in branding: The new name and branding has been more approachable for many people who may otherwise shrug off kombucha as a hippie drink. A year ago, Danek says, Kombucha Mama was selling five to eight cases a week at Whole Foods in Bend. With the new name, within a month those sales skyrocketed to 75 to 80.

"This happened over night," she exclaimed. "We had no idea the impact that this brand would have."

"We are in an entirely new market of people," she added, pointing out that Humm is the number two seller of kombucha drinks in convenience stores.

"The company stayed the same, but more people are at the party," said Danek. "Humm seems a bit easier for people to get."

Humm Birthday Party

10 am-5 pm, Friday, April 24

Humm Kombucha, 1125 NE 2nd, Bend

Discounted growler fills, and $3 kombucha floats