Bella Coola Valley residents have been enjoying Gwyneth Anderson and Joseph Battensby’s kombucha, sold at the local farmers market every Sunday. Recently the couple brought along their niece Sabriel along to the market with them. Angie Mindus photo

Hagensborg couple home-brews a new health drink business out of the Bella Coola Valley

Gwyneth Anderson and Joseph Battensby have been selling kombucha since May

Lindsay Chung

Observer Contributor

It started as something fun to do at home that combined a healthy diet and living off the land. And now, it’s a new business for a Bella Coola Valley couple.

In February, Gwyneth Anderson and her boyfriend Joseph Battensby decided to start brewing kombucha commercially. The couple, who have been together for almost six years and live on a farm in Hagensborg, spent the winter setting up their new business, Wildway Brewing, and they began selling bottles of kombucha in May.

Anderson says the business started because they both enjoy making and drinking kombucha, a fermented sweetened black or green tea drink. Anderson has been brewing kombucha at home for the past three to four years.

“I really love kombucha,” she says. “I love making it, me and Joe both love drinking it, and I think we both thought it would be something fun to try. I’ve always thought of having a little kombucha business. We decided why not try it out, start small and see what happens.”

Anderson and Battensby currently sell Wildway Brewing kombucha at Anderson’s Little Nook Café, at the Sunday Bella Coola Farmers’ Market and at the Wednesday Bella Coola Night Market, and they sell to the Bella Coola Mountain Lodge, which sells the kombucha by the glass and creates mixed cocktails with it.

Right now, Wildway Brewing kombucha comes in two different flavours: honey lavender rose; or blueberry, nettles and raspberry leaf.

“They are [flavours] I sort of came up with in my head,” says Anderson. “Honey lavender rose was one of the first I made at home, and it was one of our favourites so we decided that had to be one for sure. I drink a lot of nettles and raspberry leaf tea, so I wanted to try it with kombucha because nettles have a lot of different health benefits, but I knew it needed to have more sweetness.”

READ MORE: Endangered Leatherback Turtle spotted near Vancouver Island

Anderson is excited to move towards being able to create kombucha flavours that use ingredients she and Battensby have grown or foraged themselves.

“We live on 52 acres, and eventually, the goal is to grow and wildcraft all the flavour ingredients,” she says.

Anderson says she became interested in kombucha because there are supposed to be a lot of health benefits. She says some people say it’s an “adaptogen,” and it can adapt to what your body needs and benefit the entire physiology, as opposed to fixing any one thing.

“It’s full of probiotics from the fermentation, which is really good for your gut flora, for a healthy gut,” she explains.

There are many reasons Anderson enjoys making – and sharing – kombucha.

“I really like creating flavours and things like that, so when we came up with the flavours, that was really exciting to me, and we are working on new flavours,” she says. “Also, I’m really interested in a healthy diet and looking into all these fermented foods and how it’s good for the body. Both Joe and I are interested in fermented foods and living off what we can produce. Just the fact that it’s a living culture that’s in there, you have to take care of it and keep it healthy, that’s also kind of magical.”

If anyone is interested in carrying Wildway Brewing kombucha or would like more information, they can email Anderson and Battensby at

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment plan should be completed end of 2018

Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District hopes to meet directly with the project team for a direct update

CRD opens survey on 2018 wildfire response and impacts

The CRD closed its emergency operations centre this week

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

Cody Dillabough drops out of race for Quesnel City Council

The deadline for the withdrawal of candidates is Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.

Calling all artists: the Quesnel Art Gallery is looking for submissions

It can take between 20 and 30 individual pieces to fill the gallery

WATCH: Correlieu students simulate driving heavy machinery

Local students given the chance to test out a career in the forestry industry

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read