New health store opens in Naples

NAPLES — A health store has opened in grape country aiming to inspire everyone in the region to focus on wellness.

Komorebi Shoppe held its grand opening on Aug. 28 on 19 Mill Street in the heart of the Naples Arts and History District. The health store focuses on kombucha and herbal products.

Desiree Collister and Scott Calpin, owners of Komorebi Shoppe, have been local kombucha brewers for Roots Cafe for a year. Calpin had been brewing kombucha drinks on his own for about nine years. Collister has worked with herbs for seven years. The two combined their knowledge on fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables to make products for friends and the community. The couple has worked on bringing wholesale kombucha to several local restaurants, bars, and hotels in the Naples and Canandaigua area.

In the last four months the couple purchased the store at 19 Mill Street to make a permanent home for their kombucha and herbal products.

Monica Collister, Desiree’s sister, has helped with producing labels, marketing, website, and product ideas at the only health store of its kind in the region.

“I love the kombucha they brew here. I give it to my son who loves it too. It helps fight off viruses and prevents you from getting sick. I tried a store version once and didn’t like it. When I tried my sister’s Apple Pie Kombucha it actually tasted like apple pie. The Lavender Lemon Balm is one of my favorites too. It has a very clean taste,” Monica Collister said. “My son has problems with his immunity, and this helps him every time. I give him just a little bit of it and it clears it up. Nothing else was really helping him.”

Collister said most of the herbs can be used for natural medicine and wellness. They are all fresh from the garden or harvested. Everything you see in the store is organic. She has worked seven years in Healing Spirits in Avoca. Calpin has worked many years for Fruition Seeds in Naples.

“I started brewing my own kombucha nine years ago as a hobby. A couple of years ago we decided to do it commercially. We did it for a year at the Roots Cafe. Mandy Gordon (Roots Café Owner) was nice enough to let us do it in her kitchen for free,” Calpin said. “We saw this store a few months ago and wanted to have our own space. We are both very excited to have our kombucha in several local restaurants and bars.”

Kombucha takes about a week to process in the tanks kept in the kitchen. It is made from a balance of green teas and black teas. It must be fermented for a week with the herbs, roots, and vegetables. When using fruit, the process isn’t as lengthy since it has natural sugar to work with. After it has been brewed for the right amount of time it is put through several steps to ensure its final process to the bottle. Everything is natural.

“We start out making a very sweet tea. We brew it to room temperature. We put it in the mother scoby to feed out the sugar. It all turns into probiotics. The sugar transforms from a sweet to tart balance over a week. We remove all the mother culture,” Collister explained about the process.

Caruso Café, Neapolitan Pizza, Joseph’s Market, Hollerhorn Distilling, and The Lake House offer Komorebi Kombucha.

“We are all trying to lift each other up,” Calpin said. “We have a lot of artists and local business friends who have helped get us where we are. It really does take a village.”

Collister said the kombucha products must remain chilled, so they can only be purchased at the store. However, the couple plans on having other products available for online purchase soon.

One of the major perks of visiting the store in person is getting a large growler filled with your favorite kombucha. The couple has two flavors on tap and ready to go. You can feel free to bring your growler back for refills.

Noah Earl, Mandy Gordon, Alexander Falls, Jim and Suzanne Wigger, Darryl Abraham and many others have been part of the creation of this store’s immediate success. Riley Smiley created the logo for the store. The store was once used for massage therapy, hair salon, and a photo studio. Now it is making history with being the only kombucha and herbal store in this region.

The name of the store came from the Japanese term Komorebi; meaning sunlight through the leaves. Kombucha has its origins in Japan.

“I used to work in a nursing home, and I saw a lot of pharmaceutical drugs being used. I really didn’t like it. I love the healing properties of plants. I think it is better to put natural things into your body. You can use these fresh herbs from our garden to help with so many different things,” Collister said.

Some of the Kombucha flavors available at the store right now are Pulo Sunto Birch Bark, Turmeric Ginger, Lavender Lemon Balm, and Cucumber Jalapeno. Limited to seasonal Kombucha is Apple Pie, Grape, and Strawberry Rhubarb. The couple hopes to bring the seasonal ones back soon.

Many fresh herbs include everything from Chamomile, Mint, Marshmallow, St. John’s Wort, Lavender, Horsetail, Nettles, Skullcap, Raspberry Leaf, Common Sage, Oats, Ladys Mantle, and so much more.

They have health, wellness, and body products such as oils, vinegar, soap, incense and more.

Komorebi Shoppe is located at 19 Mill Street in Naples. It is open Fridays 2 to 6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.