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AMA: Martina Angelova and Zoe Burgess, founders of J’aime  Kombucha

AMA: Martina Angelova and Zoe Burgess, founders of J’aime Kombucha

Martina Angelova and Zoe Burgess are the entrepreneurial duo who co-founded J’aime Original Kombucha after spotting a gap in the market for sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks.

Zoe tells us how it all began!


Hey Zoe, tell us a bit about your company.

J’aime Original Kombucha is a new green and white tea-based sparkling dry drink, offering a brand-new take on kombucha.

With a focus on quality and flavour, J’aime Kombucha is made using a unique blend of four of the world’s most exceptional white and green teas (Snow Bud, Jasmine Huang Shan Ya, Sencha and Jasmine Ying Zhen Silver Needle).

The resulting taste is an aromatic flavour with delicate jasmine tea notes throughout, balanced acidity and a gentle fizz that is reminiscent of fine sparkling wine.

Made in small batch production in the UK, J’aime Kombucha is a healthy alternative to an alcoholic drink (enjoyed on its own or with food) being sugar-free (no sugar is left at the end of the production process or added later on) with a long clean and dry finish.

J'aime Original Kombucha

How did the idea for J’aime come about?

We met whilst working on a project together and quickly bonded over a mutual admiration for sophisticated and dry drinks with a great taste and a healthy purpose.

We bring different complementary skill sets to the company – Martina is an entrepreneur with a passion for numbers and putting deals together as well as being a herbal tea expert.

And, I am a flavour expert, the founder of drinks consultancy Atelier PIP (I’ve collaborated with some of the world’s most revered food scientists and developing innovative cocktail menus for key players in the hospitality industry such as Heston Blumenthal) as well as a founding partner of Untitled, one of East London’s most creative bars.

Martina’s three children were the encouragement behind her 10-year mission to find and make healthy food and drinks that tasted delicious. On that course, Martina created a new brand of herbal teas.

For me, my key passion has been pushing the boundaries within the sensory and flavour-led sectors to help improve the consumers’ drinking experience. I chose to explore non-alcoholic drinks in a separate venture to Martina. 

It was whilst working together on Martina’s own herbal tea range which lead them to the idea of creating sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks which could be enjoyed on their own or with a meal and, even better were sugar-free. That gap in the market was filled when J’aime Drinks was born.

J’aime Original Kombucha

Do you both work remotely? Do you plan to keep that going?

As a small company, we have always worked remotely; it is just Martina and I, so in that sense, it's quite simple to manage. We both have busy work lives and tend to be travelling and on the go, so regular phone catchups have always been important to us.

What is the biggest mistake you have made as an entrepreneur?

The whole process of starting a small company and launching a product is one of learning. So, as long as you are keeping your mind open and working in a productive way every challenge is an opportunity to learn.

Did you ever experience a business disappointment that led to something better?

As with looking at mistakes, running a business is an opportunity to learn and evolve. We’ve taken this approach with challenges we have faced, and this is how we keep our forward momentum.

What does company culture mean to you?

Positivity, kindness and excitement.

Love that! Thanks for sharing Zoe, it's been a pleasure.

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