Hearing “22 year old Calvin College dropout” isn’t normally what you would expect at the beginning of a success story, but it is.
This is where we meet Emily Helmus who, two years after said drop-out, is now a budding Grand Rapids entrepreneur. She laughs as we ask her to join the ever expanding ‘selfie’ phenomenon (see above), and begins to explain her life in the middle of a waiting list of customers, the busy hustle of a growing business, and the growing feeling that she still doesn’t know what she’s doing.
Bloom Ferments Kombucha tea got its start when a friend of Emily’s gave her fermented kombucha, leading her to experiment with fermented everything from vegetables to bread. According to Emily, “Bloom kombucha is unpasteurized and free of any artificial additives, colorants, sweeteners, and preservatives. All ingredients are fair trade and organic.” Bloom currently creates and sells two different teas: Ginger and Lavender Hibiscus. You can find them at the downtown market in the Heart Side of Grand Rapids.
During Emily’s season of fermented obsession, she was seeing a naturopath and bartering fermented items. The naturopath sat her down one day and encouraged her to start her own business.
Not knowing anything about business led Emily to seek out her uncle, a seasoned business man who partnered with her. Knowing she wouldn’t get very far in her own kitchen led her to Uptown Kitchen, a commercial kitchen space in Grand Rapids that caters specifically to start up food businesses. Emily loves the science behind what she does. Testing new batches, adding new flavors, and talking to people about what they like and dislike are helping her grow in her next delicious experiments. It’s clear Emily has a love affair for her trade. ” I just want to make kombucha and give it to people. When I find something I want to know more about I become obsessed.”
Emily’s background in biology and interest in science has led her passion for healthy tea and growing aptitude for business into something many of us seeking the perfect career only dream about.
To all the dreamers out there Emily says, ” If its meant to be, it will just happen. Actively work on it. Talk to people. Find mentors. If they are passionate about it, they will help you.”
If you need to find Emily, you can find her dreaming up store front’s on her Pinterest board, wandering Eastown peering into windows of ‘for rent’ spaces, in her lab designing new flavors or up north camping Pure Michigan style. Even the busiest people need time away. She’s not in any hurry in this life anyway; she’s only 24 after all.
” I have big plans, I’m just waiting for them to be realized.”
To find out where you can get this delicious tea you can find Emily here: