Helen Tricarico, owner of Healthy On The Inside.
Helen Tricarico, owner of Healthy On The Inside. Anna K Photography

Bundy business excellence: From hobby to award winning path

WHAT started as a hobby in her quest for wellness has transformed into a flourishing business for Bundaberg woman Helen Tricarico.

The local entrepreneur created HOTI Kombucha in 2016, providing a delicious beverage for those looking for a healthy drink alternative.

Helen said HOTI was an acronym for Healthy On the Inside with the local handcrafted beverage manufacturer producing Kombucha using a range of teas and botanical herbs.

"Fuelled by passion and a desire to help others I noticed a gap in the healthy beverage market in the Bundaberg region so I took the chance and launched my business,” she said.

"Since then HOTI Kombucha has fast become the Kombucha of choice for locals.”

Helen said HOTI was the first commercially produced Kombucha in the Bundaberg region and as a recent winner of the Bundaberg Region Chamber of Commerce 2019 Business Excellence Awards, is proud of her achievements.

It was also recently listed in the top 50 businesses in the Inside Small Business Magazine.

She said her brand of kombucha used a range of carefully selected organic teas, local fruit, and botanical herbs to create delicious flavours.

"The flavour range includes Hibiscus Ginger, Ginger Glow, Lime Elderflower, Mango Passionfruit, Limoncello, Dragon Fruit, Raspberry and Rosewater, Blood Orange and Passionfruit,” she said.

"At HOTI we don't use concentrates, artificial flavourings or sweeteners, and where ever possible we use local fruits and herbs to give our Kombucha the beautiful tastes and colours it is known for.

"HOTI Kombucha also uses a recycle bottle program, to promote sustainability. Consumers pay a deposit on the bottles and return them for a discounted price when they swap empty for full or re-fill their bottles at one of our re-fill stations.”

Helen said her passion for creating Kombucha had always been spurred on by the mystery of the drink.

"Kombucha is an alchemy of tea, sugar, water and bacteria, and combined with the process of fermentation it works to balance our gut bacteria,” she said.

"I love how kombucha is living, raw, gluten free and vegan and such an amazing way to introduce fermented foods to your body.

"It is simply wellness in a bottle.”

HOTI Kombucha is currently available from The Pocket Storehouse every Saturday between 7 am and 12 pm, Nanas Pantry Bundaberg six days a week and is on the menu at The Windmill Café in Bargara.