Hello Readers and Olas Altas Market goers,
Some of you may know that I have co-founded PHYTOSTONE, an artisan firm dedicated to natural home building and materials. But probably more of you know me as ‘the sauer kraut lady’ at the Olas Altas farmers market. A fermentation market business (of all things!) in Mexico (of all places!) was a twist in my family’s life that I never saw coming. But your support as probiotics aficionados (or maybe just Reuben sandwich aficionados!) enabled us to organically build our natural materials business, and for that I wanted to express gratitude.
Our fermentation odyssey began hitchhiking through Croatia in 2009. We found a super charming old-world market and happened to have skipped a meal getting there. We bought handfuls of ‘real’ Sauer kraut scooped out of 55 gallon plastic barrels, by ‘real’ babushkas, and incorporated the kraut into a scrumptious sandwich. It was perhaps the hitchhiking-related hunger that made that sandwich transcendent, but our sandwich initiated a deep dive into fermentation when we got home. My husband’s and my careers up until that point had revolved exclusively around landscape architecture, so reading about pickles, sourdough, and other fermented delicacies was a fun break from botanical nomenclature.
But it wasn’t until we moved to Mexico, had a baby and time on our hands that we delved into fermentation in earnest. We had decided to check out from our careers for a period and focus exclusively on our daughter’s babyhood. And maybe it was because of the sleep deprivation or finding ourselves strangers in a new land, but the time seemed ripe to take up a new hobby. And that hobby was kraut and kimchi making, much to the chagrin of our new neighbors.
At that time, we lived down the block from the Leek and Thistle pie shop. Mark, the proprietor whom most of you must know if you’ve ever had a hankering for shepherd’s pie down here, suggested we take the kraut to the markets. And so it all began, at the then-Paradise market.
I remember we were too budget-conscious to invest in an actual table, and pieced together a makeshift stand out of wooden crates and pallets. We were a spectacle! Opening up those first jars of kimchi, caused everyone in the market to look around wondering what had died in the walls. Oh well, kimchi isn’t for everyone. And it was the beginning of what eventually (probably) became the best kimchi in Mexico. In our opinion anyway.
After years of refinement and bootstrapping, Small World Probiotics was eventually able to support us as well as the initial growth of our long term business, PHYTOSTONE. Now that we are no longer selling kraut at the market, we wanted to express our gratitude to all of you who have supported us over the years. You made everything possible for us and for that we are so grateful!
For our hardcore clients who want to learn more about making sauerkraut at home, visit http://bit.ly/tropicalfermentation to sign up for workshops beginning this December in Sayulita. Another way to acquire our kraut recipes in Sayulita is via Terrenal, the organic shop found at terrenalsayulita.com. For anyone just wishing to say hi and reminisce, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the years of probiotic love!