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November 23, 2009

Infinitea Kombucha sells to Hain Celestial.

And another one bites the dust (and another great little indie eco company sells out to The Man).

This is not new news, but it took us a month to report this because, well, it’s disappointing. Nicole, founder of Infinitea, has been a friend and advertiser, someone we looked forward to seeing week in and week out at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market, which can here be credited with another success story. And we know she was busy with family, and was probably burned out. But is the only solution to sell out to huge corporations (though Hain Celestial is probably one of the best biggies, as opposed to, say, Dean).

In any case, the question remains:

Are we in this to change the (business) world for the better (greener), or to make green? Can’t we do both, without selling out to The Man?

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN), a leading natural and organic products company, today announced the acquisition of Infinitea Kombucha in Boulder, CO. Infinitea Kombucha is a producer of organic kombucha, a fermented probiotic tea, that is sold through natural food retailers.

The Infinitea Kombucha product line will no longer be manufactured. Celestial Seasonings® is expected to launch Celestial Seasonings® kombucha in Spring of 2010. Nicole Gervace, owner of Infinitea Kombucha, has joined the Company as Product Manager to manage the Celestial Seasonings kombucha product line.

Celestial Seasonings is a leader in the specialty tea category and has recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary. “We are excited about the opportunity to add kombucha to our Celestial Seasonings brand. Kombucha is a rapidly growing category and a natural brand extension into ready to drink tea,” said Peter Burns, General Manager of Celestial Seasonings. “In addition, we are pleased that Nicole has become part of our team bringing her depth of knowledge and expertise in the kombucha category,” continued Peter Burns.

Terms of the acquisition, which closed earlier this month, were not disclosed.

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