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Bend’s Humm Kombucha lays off 21 workers


A well-known Bend beverage company, Humm Kombucha, announced this week that it’s laying off more than a dozen local employees and several more elsewhere.

On Wednesday, the business let workers know that 21 people would be losing their jobs. About 15 of those affected work in Central Oregon, and the rest around the country.

According to CEO Jamie Danek, the decision wasn’t easy.

“Yesterday was a pretty tough day at Humm. We had a company restructure and let go of 21 ‘Hummsters,'” Danek said Thursday.

“Our growth projections are different than we anticipated,” she explained. “So we’re still growing and doing really well, but we anticipated growing way more than we are, so that led to a change.”

The company started in Bend in 2009 and sells kombucha products across the U.S., as well as in Canada and Sweden.

Danek said the employees who were let go are receiving help.

“I mean, our motto is taking care of good people and the world, so we did the best we could with the severance packages, and there were a lot of services given to help with the transition,” she said. “So anything we could have done to help with the transition, we offered in one way shape or form,”

Danek said the decision is not reflective of Kombucha sales.

“People’s interest in Kombucha is off the charts,” she said.

“It’s like, you take a guess at the beginning of the year and say, This is what you’re going to do.’ But if you miss your guess, you have to make some hard decisions to make sure the company stays healthy,” Danek said.

After the layoffs, Humm continues to employ about 100 people, 85 of whom are Central Oregonians.

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