From Adversity to Artistry: The Story Behind Fermented Felon Kombucha

You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar. Did you know you can make it yourself? Tony Horner does. 

Tony is the founder and entrepreneur behind Fermented Felon, a craft kombucha brand. 

But success didn’t come easy at first.

Tony’s journey to becoming a business owner has its fair share of obstacles. He first started working at 16 in various restaurants and bars across Omaha before he experienced issues with the legal and criminal justice systems. 

At 26, he moved to Las Vegas for a fresh start. He found work as a bartender and studied mixology at a top restaurant. He took that experience to Los Angeles and gained even more knowledge, experimenting with various drink flavors. Though enjoying this time, he still struggled to find his way.

It was then that Tony decided to move back home to Omaha. He worked and achieved certifications in the fitness industry but did not feel fulfilled. 

In March 2020, he embarked on a journey into kombucha production, driven by the realization that it offered significant benefits for his health. Over the course of nine months, he dedicated himself to meticulous research, relentless development, and a weekly ritual of refining recipes in 5-gallon batches. Tony’s expertise in crafting top-tier cocktails proved invaluable throughout this transformative process.

In no time, Fermented Felon Kombucha found its place on the shelves of six nearby Hy-Vee stores. However, financial resources were dwindling rapidly, and the prospect of shuttering the business loomed large. Traditional banks had deemed him ineligible for loans, adding to his challenges.

Enter the Nebraska Enterprise Fund. 

“NEF is great. The process was super easy, and the terms were good, too. It’s a great resource for small businesses.” Tony says.

Tony says the loan from Nebraska Enterprise Fund allowed him to purchase additional equipment and other resources to grow.  You can now find Fermented Felon in 26 Hy-Vee stories and other Omaha stores. 

Fermented Felon came into existence with a distinct purpose. Tony learned to harness his talents while lifting others. He crafted his mission with purpose and to make a positive difference and to help others that no one else would. 

Discover more about Fermented Felon and how Tony leverages his own experiences and expertise to empower others on their path to success. About | Fermented Felon Kombucha

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