New Orleans Business Alliance Joins Big Easy Bucha & Partners to Announce Third Major New Orleans-based Company Acquisition in Recent Weeks
Expansion of Latin American company Beliv into local market expected to create 50 new jobs
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is excited to join local beverage manufacturing company and longtime partner, Big Easy Bucha, to announce the completion of its acquisition by Beliv, Latin America’s fastest-growing bev-tech company with 28 brands in 30 countries.
With this acquisition, Big Easy Bucha will expand its local operations, with plans to retain 47 employees and create 50 new direct jobs locally. Additionally, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in 119 indirect jobs, or a total of more than 160 jobs, across Louisiana’s southeast region. Big Easy Bucha will fill many of the 50 new jobs with participants of local job readiness programs, which connect chronically unemployed communities with job opportunities that offer meaningful work and living wages.
“Going big is about to get easy,” said Big Easy founder and CEO Austin Sherman.“We’re fired up to join the diverse and dynamic family of brands at Beliv and see our beverages reach new consumers internationally. Contemplating our brand’s humble origins, making one bottle of kombucha at a time, the opportunity to bring our products to the world is a dream realized. With access to Beliv’s infrastructure and resources, and new markets to dominate together, we’re confident this partnership will speed our mutual growth.”
The transaction with Big Easy Bucha rapidly expands Beliv’s footprint in the market and reinforces its commitment to bring exciting new products in high-growth beverage categories to consumers worldwide. Big Easy’s line of wellness-focused drinks will become the first probiotic product in Beliv’s portfolio.
“Innovation is key to market growth and to meeting new expectations of consumers across the globe. By adding Big Easy into Beliv’s portfolio, we magnify the strengths and entrepreneurial spirit of both companies to respond to the intense demand for authentic, natural, and sustainable products that focus on functionality, well-being, and nutrition,” said Carlos Sluman, CEO, founder, and partner of Beliv.
NOLABA has worked alongside the current team at Big Easy Bucha to support its site selection efforts since 2015, helping to identify ideal manufacturing locations for its expansion in the New Orleans market and connect them to local suppliers, partners, and other industry contacts. It also aided in the company’s hiring and retention initiatives, hosting employer meet and greet sessions that connected Big Easy Bucha to top local talent.
As a result of that partnership, Big Easy Bucha and its approximately 60 employees have built a winning culture centered around innovation, successfully bringing to market trend-forward, easy-to-enjoy beverages with digestive health benefits. Those products include kombucha, functional juice shots, and tepache, a prebiotic pineapple soda with pre-Hispanic roots, which recently debuted in a new 12-oz can in Publix.
“The City of New Orleans is proud of Big Easy Bucha and its success as a bellwether company in the beverage industry, and as a product that is manufactured right here in our community,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “As a city with an unparalleled culinary culture, we are actively cultivating the growth of our amazing entrepreneurs and businesses in our food, consumer packaged goods, and beverage industry and welcome Bucha and Beliv as members of the New Orleans family as we work to establish our City as a premier food and beverage industry hub.”
“Big Easy Bucha has been woven into the fabric of our New Orleans culture and economic framework since its founding,” said NOLABA’s Interim President and CEO Norman E. Barnum, IV. “Our Talent Partnership Team has worked closely with Austin Sherman and Big Easy over the years, watching them grow into model employers that provide New Orleanians with job opportunities that enable them to start fresh careers and lives here at home. We’re proud to be a partner with them and will embrace Beliv, knowing that this and every new partnership we form represents a huge economic win for our city and its people.”
Launched in 2014 by Austin Sherman and Alexis Korman, Big Easy delivers authentically crafted drinks with gut-health and immune-supporting benefits to customers who shop at over 3,000 retail accounts and growing in the U.S., including Publix, Sprouts, Wegman’s, and others. In addition to kombucha – a natural probiotic tea – the company also produces wellness-focused juice shots, and recently debuted tepache, a prebiotic pineapple soda that is sold in 3,000 retail locations nationwide.
To learn more about Big Easy Bucha, visit drinkbigeasy.com.