This month, REBBL begins distribution to Whole Foods and other independent natural food retailers in Northern California. Standing for “Roots, Extracts, Berries, Bark, and Leaves,” REBBL is an herbal tonic beverage enterprise launched earlier this year. The product connects labor-enslaved, resource-rich tribes in the Amazon with consumer demand in the U.S. market.
REBBL was created as a solution to slavery in the Peruvian Amazon–a region where over 50% of forced labor in the country exists. By sourcing key ingredients for the drink from indigenous communities located in the region, REBBL will not only stimulate economic development in the area, but also generate revenue back into our ground efforts. After the company’s online launch in July 2012, the next key for growth was regional distribution.
“This is a really quick launch for a product in the beverage industry,” says Amanda Buthe, the social enterprise manager at Not For Sale. “We’re really excited about what REBBL’s debut in the Bay Area will do for the cause. As the demand for REBBL increases, we will be able to buy more materials directly from the communities that the proceeds will benefit,” she continued.
The concept for the product came out of the Montara Circle, our social enterprise incubating event for entrepreneurs to generate sustainable, replicable solutions within the anti-slavery space. Attendees at the March 2011 Montara Circle, including San Francisco Giants Pitcher Jeremy Affeldt and several Silicon Valley’s veterans, came up with the idea of sourcing a premium beverage from communities vulnerable to human trafficking in specific regions of the Peruvian Amazon. Within 18 months, we launched and spun off the for-profit social enterprise, and the product began online distribution.
REBBL will be available on a rolling basis throughout February in 83 stores throughout California, including 33 Northern California Whole Foods Market stores. Other independent natural food retailers include: New Leaf, Rainbow Grocery, Berkeley Bowl, Lassens, Mother’s, and Jimbo’s. Several restaurants in the Los Angeles area, as well as the Bay Area, now serve REBBL as well. Those restaurants include La Costanera (Montara), Blue Sky Farms (Half Moon Bay), Café Gratitude (Los Angeles area), and Leaf (Los Angeles area).