Melinda Williamson

Melinda Williamson

Morning Light Kombucha

Indigenous Woman Owned Kombucha Company

Expansion

Indigenous / Native, Woman-Identified

Product

Health & Food, Green / Sustainability

B2C

Business Models and Financials, Growth, Scaling, and Investments, Operations and Administration

Hew! Melinda Williamson ndeshnekas, mshkoteni bodwewadmi ndaw mine mshkoteni bodwewadmi skwengen nteta, Mietti, KS ndottbya ndemikttewi shi Morning Light Kombucha -- Hi! I am called Melinda Williamson, I am Prairie Band Potawatomi and I live on the Prairie Band Potawatomi reservation in Mayetta, KS. I am the founder of Morning Light Kombucha -- The inspiration behind Morning Light Kombucha was born in 2015 from a desire to share with others a product that had helped me in my health struggles after an autoimmune disease diagnosis 11 years ago. In order to manage my disease, I returned to what I had been taught throughout my life -- that we are surrounded by medicines in nature. So from that day forward, I turned to food as medicine for healing. I introduced foraged, fermented, and whole foods, including kombucha into my family's diet and it was a life changing experience.

In 2015, I began brewing my own kombucha using whole fruits, herbs, vegetables, and wild plants. I shared it with family and friends, and they loved it! I wanted the opportunity to share this product as well as my story with others. As a Native American woman, I know first hand the health disparities that my people face daily. The rates of autoimmune disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and cancers among Native people and other people of color are alarming. I knew that if I could find healing in this tea that others could too. This is how Morning Light Kombucha was born.

Morning Light Kombucha partners with local farmers focused on sustainable agricultural practices, in addition to foraging for wild ingredients. This is how we source the majority of our ingredients for our small batch, hand-crafted kombucha. We are very vocal about where and how we are sourcing our ingredients as well as highlighting our focus on sustainability within our operations and our commitment to giving back to Indigenous communities. This transparency leads to open and honest conversations with our customers about the importance of knowing where your food comes from, conscious consumerism, and issues affecting indigenous communities.