In what turned out to be a major coincidence, two weeks ago I happened to mountain bike a few miles up to Whole Foods during my lunch break and treat myself to a Buchi brand Kombucha. I happened to turn the bottle around to see that Buchi is made in Asheville, NC.
The reason that is important is because just a few days later, we would be going to Asheville anyway, on our fall road trip from Nashville to Asheville, as we reviewed the 4G capabilities of the 2015 Buick LaCrosse.
So I sent a quick email to Buchi requesting a tour while we were in town and they said yes.
Therefore, today with great honor, I share our visit of Buchi, as well as, the Avonlea Learning Community with you.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Kombucha, I refer to it as “vegan soda.” It’s extremely healthy for you and full of probiotics, but contains no added junk or chemicals like soda does; nor is it an actual alcoholic beverage, despite the appearance.
Without a doubt, Buchi is a very fascinating company. Why else would our family make an effort to visit their headquarters while on our fall mini-vacation?
For starters, Fast Company recently featured them in their magazine.
The next thing I find fascinating about them is how humble the workers are. I met with Mike Numinous, the Vision Caster and Kombucha Ambassador of Buchi.
He sincerely hugs anyone he meets. It’s that mentality that gets bottled up with the Kombucha itself.
I am amazed at how “uncorporate” the Buchi company is, not just in word, but in action.
For the type of national distribution they have, I assumed they must have a huge warehouse.
I’m so impressed how far this company has gotten without a major corporate affiliation. Talk about the underdog! Buchi’s staff is very hard-working, yet full of heart.
The Buchi headquarters, which is up in the mountains, about a 25 minute drive from downtown Asheville, is simply part of the communal property which also hosts the homes of many of Buchi’s staff as well as their Montessori-based private school: Avonlea Learning Community.
They have mixed age classrooms, art and physical education daily, and an emphasis on nature exploration. They focus on critical thinking, teach chicken farming and gardening, and are located on 180 acres of organic farm and woodland; all with affordable tuition! Man, if only we lived in Asheville…
Another coincidence in this whole story is that the flavor of Buchi I happened to be drinking in the picture at the top, before we ever made our visit, was the Avonlea flavor; which was named in honor on their school. Avonlea, along with Fire, happen to be my favorites!
We really enjoyed seeing the school. I mean this in a good way; it was like seeing the Dharma Initiative in 1977; at least the way it was intended to be. (That’s a reference to once my favorite shows, Lost.)
In the backyard of the school is a chicken coop; the children sell the eggs to the community. There is also a trampoline and plenty of room to run around.
Man, what a cool school!
Our fall trip to Asheville was a blast the whole time, but I think our visit to the Buchi headquarters was my favorite part!
Below is some bonus footage, featuring some interviews I did with Mike Numinous, the Vision Caster and Kombucha Ambassador of Buchi: