New Kombucha Brava owner Rebcca Sanchez. (Photo via Kombucha Brava's Instagram)

Like many others, when Rebecca Sanchez tried kombucha for the first time more than a decade ago, she was surprised. A fermented blend of tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast, the taste of kombucha is one that grows on you, but once it does, Sanchez says you’ll fall in love with it.

“I feel like it is kind of rare in this world that something tastes good and is good for you, so I ran with it,” she said.

Sanchez moved to Evanston a year ago from California and even though she homebrews her own kombucha, she wanted to know where the best local place was and came across Kombucha Brava on 717 Custer Ave.

Kombucha Brava co-founders Regina Sant’Anna and Doug Skites opened up their taproom in July 2018 after success at the Evanston Farmers Market. While the last four years have proved successful for the couple, with a growing clientele and partnerships with restaurants and bars across the city, Sant’Anna and Skites decided they wanted to sell Kombucha Brava to focus on their family.

After searching unsuccessfully for potential new owners, with the taproom on the verge of closing, they received an email from Sanchez, and it was a perfect fit.

“Kombucha Brava is like a baby,” Sanchez said. “We had to keep it open and they’ve [Sant’Anna and Skites] grown it, but they said they’re really excited that they found someone to keep the passion alive in the community.”

Sant’Anna and Skites will stay on as part-owners of the business. Sanchez will take over as the primary owner in April.

Sanchez is a trained speech language pathologist and she said her dream is to expand Kombucha Brava to be a training facility to help employ disabled people who need a resume-building job. She also wants to host events in the spring for yoga and painting.

Sanchez will keep many of the core flavors on tap and introduce a few new ones she is brewing up.

“We would love to see everyone and start to meet all of our wonderful customers, old and new,” Sanchez said.

Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is a reporter and the social media manager at the Evanston RoundTable. She covers small businesses, social justice and human interest stories. Contact her at and...

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