Lori’s Natural Foods was ahead of the kombucha boom

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The health food store stocks major and local kombucha

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — Eating right might seem like a modern trend, but the folks at Lori’s Natural Foods have been emphasizing healthy food choices for nearly four decades in Rochester.

“Health food is becoming more mainstream, and that’s why we’re seeing more of an uptick in business,” said Kyle Mims, Marketing Director for Lori’s Natural Foods.

Lori’s has been in business for 38 years, but they’ve called their Jefferson Road location in Henrietta home for 15 years. Mims was always into health food, so working at Lori’s was a perfect fit.

Mims says that customers turn to Lori’s because they have products no one else does.

That was certainly true when they started buying kombucha about a decade ago, and it was a “health foodie” drink tucked away in the back corner. Now, it’s at the front, as kombucha has become a convenience drink.

“Kombucha right now is a very popular product for us,” Mims said. “I think people are realizing that sugary beverages aren’t good for them. People are turning to kombucha, because they realize that it’s a healthier alternative to that. We’ve seen a huge increase in sales recently, our kombucha offerings have tripled in size over the past couple years.”

They have “brand name” and local kombucha, plus “the booch” on tap.

For Mims and many others, daily kombucha has another benefit other than less sugar: Improved gut health. Mims has noticed that daily kombucha —along with supplemental probiotic — has lessened his at times severe allergy symptoms, better skin, a better immune system response, and better overall health. And, if he were to pass “the booch” along:

“I probably wouldn’t even tell them it’s kombucha,” Mims said, slightly tongue in cheek. “I’d give it to them, it tastes like a fruity drink, and then I’d be like ‘it’s kombucha!’ it’s good for your gut.”

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