Michigan’s Lively Up Kombucha Takes Over the State with 125 Meijer Store Distribution

Business News |May 17, 2023|5 min read

Lively Up Kombucha Goes Big, Celebrating Muskegon Roots with Recent Widespread Sales

Muskegon, MI – Greater Muskegon Economic Development is excited to announce that Lively Up Kombucha, a Muskegon-based kombucha company, now has products available in all 125 Meijer stores in Michigan. The company has grown tremendously since its inception in 2017, operating in a small, rental kitchen in North Muskegon. At that time, the company was using five-gallon size, food-grade buckets to brew its kombucha. Now, Lively Up has moved to a new location, is brewing in larger batches, and is working with North America’s largest natural organic food distributor, KeHE.

“We are thrilled to bring our kombucha to Meijer stores across the state of Michigan,” stated Founder and CEO of Lively Up Kombucha, Zackery Smith. “Our mission has always been to provide the community with delicious and healthy kombucha, sourced primarily from local ingredients. With this expansion and state-wide distribution, we are able to share our products and our passion for fermented foods with even more people.”

This expansion was made possible through Lively Up’s location in FARM, a food incubator space located in Muskegon. FARM provided Lively Up with cold storage, a production area, a warehouse with high ceilings, and shipping bays, allowing the company to expand and produce more batches of kombucha. This growth has allowed Lively Up to become a success story, going from producing only 50 gallons to 4,000 gallons at a time.

Reflecting on Lively Up’s beginnings, Smith expressed gratitude for the support Lively Up has received from the Muskegon community, stating, “Our first sale of kombucha was made at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market six years ago, and we never imagined that we would be sharing our products statewide so quickly. We are grateful for the services available in Muskegon, such as the Community Foundation of Muskegon County and Greater Muskegon Economic Development, which have assisted us in growing our business.”

“It has been inspiring to watch Zack’s drive and the success of Lively Up,” said Todd Jacobs, Community Foundation president/CEO. “FARM was developed to help agri-business entrepreneurs like Zack, develop what in many cases may be a hobby to a vibrant business. Our partnership with MSU Extension and MSU Product Center is key to providing these entrepreneurs with the technical knowledge needed to be successful.”

Lively Up has pivoted several times over the years, adjusting to evolving business demands, but also allowing the business to unfold itself. Smith says, “The goal is to continue developing a strong vision, with plans for a future non-alcoholic beverage tasting room and community center in West Michigan.” The ‘Michigan-made’ themed tasting room will cater to those seeking a healthy lifestyle and provide a space where individuals can engage in holistic classes and networking.

“We have been meeting and working with Lively Up Kombucha for years now,” stated Marla Schneider, President/CEO of Greater Muskegon Economic Development. “The recent trajectory of company growth is due to Zack’s willingness to focus on the vision, routinely access resources available in our community, and work through the growing pains that all small businesses encounter. We celebrate Lively Up’s expanded footprint and look forward to new product lines and a further reach across the Midwest.”

About Lively Up Kombucha
Lively Up Kombucha is proud to provide a delicious and healthy alternative beverage for Michigan residents. The kombucha is handcrafted in small batches, using the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients and organic teas. Lively Up was founded to help build a resilient and healthier food system, building a better food economy and educating on the importance of fermented foods. Lively Up brews every day to share the love of kombucha with its current and future customers. For more information on Lively Up Kombucha, visit their website at www.livelyupkombucha.com.

About Greater Muskegon Economic Development
Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) was founded in 1999 and is the countywide economic development agency dedicated to supporting local business. GMED’s focus is to leverage public and private investment to accelerate business growth and the creation of high-quality employment opportunities in Muskegon County. Appreciating the importance of our local business community, GMED serves as a clearinghouse of information on programs and incentives available to your business. Learn more at https://www.developmuskegon.org/.

Community Foundation for Muskegon County
The Community Foundation, established in 1961, collaborates with donors, grantees, advisors and individuals to identify issues that are important to Muskegon County communities. By bringing people together around a shared goals and creating links between resources, we aim to “build a vibrant community for all.” Strategic efforts focus in the areas of lifelong literacy, local business development and growth, lifting up local residents to achieve their potential while building a community of trust where all voices are valued. FARM, an operation of the Community Foundation, is managed as a special project of Michigan State University Extension.


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