• The Kid

Feature: Carlington Booch

Walking around the farmer's markets, you never know who you'll meet, or what kind of product you'll come across. One of the new tends in the food world right now is Kombucha. No matter how you pronounce it, this tea based drink is growing in popularity, and we are learning more about the health benefits to having Kombucha in your life.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jon Ruby, founder of Carlington Booch. What drew me to their stand was not only the cool looking dude with the aviators, beard and bad-ass apron, but also the unique labels and the messages printed across their banners and tablecloth. Messages like "Good Gut Feeling", and "a portion of each purchase goes toward helping fight addiction". I was very interested in what they were doing other than making some great 'Booch!

Carlington Booch is a new company this season. Two years ago, Jon visited the co-founder Oof Carlington Booch, Joanne, at her home, where she had him taste Kombucha, which she had made herself. Jon's initial thought was that he really enjoyed tasting the flavours of the drink, and the freshness of the ingredients. Jon had recently started a charity group, and wanted to move into the social enterprise side of things, and decided Kombucha may just be the product he was looking for. He knew if he could make it work, it would provide so much. It would provide revenue to help support the programs for those battling addictions, it would give those people who are entering recovery a community to belong to by offering them volunteer jobs with the company, and would allow him to donate a portion of the sales back into addiction programs. Jon related Kombucha, and it's transformation during the brewing process, to that of someone who has entered recovery. It's not something that comes easy, but if you do it right, and allow each step to develop, the result will be amazing!

And who is Jon Ruby? Well he's more than a bearded, aviator wearing hero. He's a man with a story and a drive to really help those who are struggling with addiction and recovery. When someone says you can only really understand someone once you've walked a mile in their shoes, Jon knows exactly what each step of those miles looks like because he's lived it first hand. Jon got into drugs and alcohol when he was 15 years old. After struggling with his addictions, Jon got clean in 2005 after he tried to take his own life. He couldn't get himself sober and thought that would be the only way out.

This event was what Jon needed to get himself into a rehab program in 2005. He was successful in his rehab and hasn't relapsed since. Jon discovered while he was in the recovery stages of his treatment, that helping and giving back was what motivated him to stay sober. Jon not only developed Carlington Booch, but he is also a pastor, and founded a rehabilitation center in Ottawa. Jon continues to work on keeping himself sober, by continuing to give back to others and help in any way he can to this day (and having met Jon, I think that statement will be true no matter when this article is read). You can check out a short video of Jon's story here.

So what the heck is Kombucha anyway right? The short answer.... It is a tea based drink. For Carlington Booch, it is made with a traditional brewing process involving green and black teas, hand crafted syrups, and all natural ingredients. They also believe in the natural carbonation process, as opposed to adding it to the bottles. Carlington Booch offers three flavours... Naked, Ginger, and Root Beer. The bottles are made of recyclable, food grade plastic, which may not be something most other Kombucha companies are doing but it helps keep the cost down for Carlington Booch, to allow them to send more money to addiction programs. The labels on the bottle (drawn by a local artist) represent the many faces of those who are consumed by addiction, and helps you as a consumer, understand who you are giving back to.

The folks at Carlington Booch want you to know that when you support them, you are supporting those who need help in the addiction world. When you buy a bottle of Carlington Booch, you are helping someone, and you are also joining the community in a direct way. They hope you get that 'Good Gut Feeling', not only from the benefits of Kombucha such as pro-biotics, but you also get the Good Gut Feeling from knowing you just made a difference in someone's life, and there's no better feeling than that!

I'd like to thank Jon for his time and everyone at Carlington Booch for working so hard to make a great product. You can find Carlington Booch at the Orleans Market on Thursdays and on Saturday at the Westboro Market. They are also in retail at Menchie's in Barrhaven and on the online store, for local pick-up at their shop in Carlington.



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