Matt Gillon is on a one-man mission to grow kombucha's footprint throughout NZ. He wants to rival the big drinks companies who bottle up drinks packed with sugar and spread the word that we can enjoy drinks that are delicious and good for us. His approach is scientific, trying to find and understand the health benefits of kombucha beyond its good-for-the-gut reputation.
We caught up with Matt to delve a bit deeper!
What is the meaning behind your business name?
I went to the University of Waikato, there we lived in Student Village, specifically in Block 5. As many eager young students have before, we wanted our own brewery one day, and it was to be called Block5. Well this one actually happened On top of that, being a science nerd myself, the Block 5 Falcon is one of the latest generation spacecraft literally pushing humanity to the next level, so that was an even further reason to run with it!
Why did you start your business?
I participated in a Uni exchange to California in 2014 which was where I was first introduced to Kombucha. I found myself grabbing a Kombucha nearly every day, which was deliciously refreshing (like many beverages) but without all of the nasties. Literally a guilt free treat! Not only that we can go one step further and this beverage actually benefits your diet! After coming back to New Zealand and finding that (in typical NZ fashion) our offerings were about 10 years behind the ball, it was a perfect opportunity to put the mahi where my mouth is.
What do you love about your industry?
I love that having a drink is nearly always a special occasion. Morning coffee, knock-off beers, champagne celebrations, and even just quenching those unimaginable dries. We get to be the ones to craft these special occasions for everybody everyday.
What little thing do you do every day to make you feel good?
I like to stretch . Wether it's a full on yoga session, or just a quick few minutes while standing next to the brew kettle, moving and stretching helps me to gather a days worth of thoughts up and bring focus back to the present. Im not an overly sporty/active person myself, but I find a special release by paying close attention to how ones body feels physically each day and learning to move and function with this, rather than in competition with it.
What makes you excited for the future of the wellness/functional drink space?
I am excited that the general consumer is starting to demand more from the companies that they choose to support. People are becoming aware of where our food industry has been for the past 60 years and the change that has needed to take place. I am excited to be apart of the change which sees our food and drink beginning to benefit us, rather than damage us.
It is also exciting, not just in the wellness space, but food + drink in general, that all cultures can now so easily share their recipes and knowledge. The pace of new and exciting drinks coming our way isn’t about to slow anytime soon!!
Check out Block 5 in September's purpose box! We'll also be featuring more of their flavours in future discovery boxes.