YPSILANTI — Unity Vibration Kombucha LLC, a Michigan-based brewer and the first to develop a kombucha beer, has inked a deal with a national beverage consultant firm to expand sales throughout the United States.
The Ypsilanti-based Unity Vibration last week announced that it has entered into a stock ownership agreement with Phoenix-based Edge Beverage.
Unity Vibration co-founder Tarek Kanaan told MiBiz that Edge would have to reach certain sales targets to acquire the specified stake in the business as part of the deal. He declined to disclose specifics on the terms of the deal.
By teaming with Edge Beverage, Unity Vibration — which already distributes in 23 states — will bolster its sales force and reach the remaining untouched areas of the country.
“As a smaller Michigan company, we are always challenged with cash and always looking for the right investment partner,” Kanaan said. “It’s an expensive game to hire a whole sales force. We have a few reps of our own. So, we’re excited.”
Unity Vibration grew its sales by 28.5 percent last year and 34 percent the year before, Kanaan said.
“We had a good growth trajectory on our own, but that’s a lot for only like one person to do and it’s great to have a whole team behind you, especially with getting new distributors in key markets,” Kanaan said.
Edge Beverage singled out states like California, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Alabama and Massachusetts as areas where it planned to deploy teams to sell Unity Vibration products to both on- and off-premises buyers.
“For Edge Beverage to have a stake in Unity Vibration Kombucha and it be considered an ‘in-house’ brand is quite the honor,” Edge President Phil Guana said in a statement. “We plan on very quickly accessing our retail buyer and distribution network to get this amazing beer in the hands of as many consumers as we can.”
Edge specializes in working with small and mid-sized beverage brands to grow their retail presence. For international brands, Edge offers both import and warehousing solutions.
Edge use a fractional series model, purchasing a stake in each partner company and growing the business.
“I think it very much motivates them,” Kanaan said of the model.
Kombucha beer is made from a sweetened, fermented tea. The beverage is never diluted, pasteurized, distilled or bottled before fully fermenting.
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