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Kombucha on tap replaces the soda at workplaces

From left,<br/>Iman Richards, Kerri Axelrod, and Abby Steinbock took a kombucha break at marlo marketing in Downtown Crossing on Friday.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Plenty of offices have free coffee. Some even supply beer. But kombucha on tap? That’s a whole new level of workplace refreshment.

In the new gleaming-white Downtown Crossing offices of marlo marketing, a steady stream of employees visit the kegerator in the corner of the kitchen, draining the five-gallon tank dry every week. Some workers say the fizzy fermented cold tea has even helped them kick their soda and coffee habits.

Kombucha has become something of a probiotic health craze due to the bacteria in it, which can aid digestion and boost immunity. Owner Marlo Fogelman had some on tap during a cleanse in California last year and decided to bring it to work. She found Katalyst Kombucha in Greenfield, which normally supplies to retailers, and had them install a system in her office kitchen.


It is a kitchen where kombucha fits right in. There is no Keurig machine or microwave, but there is an espresso machine, sparkling water on tap, and cans of Narragansett (a client) in the fridge.

Vegan lunches are catered twice a month.

Down the road, Fogelman plans to start supplying wheatgrass and sprouts so employees can make green juices throughout the day. It’s partly about encouraging her staff to live a healthy lifestyle, and partly good business sense — despite the $60 per-keg price tag.

“The better you feel, the more productive an employee you’ll be,” Fogelman said.

Danielle Mendiola was a big fan of kombucha before it showed up at the office. “It started out as my hangover cure,” said the 25-year-old account coordinator. It still is, she noted, but only on weekends.

Abby Steinbock, a 28-year-old account manager, used to have a serious soda habit. Now she drinks kombucha instead. “One glass turned into many,” she said, noting that she feels less sluggish than she used to. “We don’t go hungry or thirsty around here.”


Katie Johnston

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