wildbrine® started almost by accident. One of our founders, Rick, was “chief mentor” for teens at the Ceres Community Project, a local nonprofit whose mission is to restore locally grown, organic whole food to its place as the foundation of health for people, communities, and the planet. Rick’s role was to help develop large quantities of naturally fermented kraut for the organization’s client base of cancer patients. The krauts were a hit, so much so that Rick and Chris (Rick’s co-founder) helped Ceres sell the products to a few local stores as a way to raise funds for Ceres.
When the success of the natural krauts grew beyond the scope of the Ceres mission, the executive director asked if we wanted to take over the kraut business. We said yes. In 2011, with the two original kraut recipes (Arame & Ginger and Garlic & Dill), and placement in a few local stores, we evolved into wildbrine®.
We’ve been experimenting passionately since 2011. We’ve grown from the two original flavors to nine unique krauts, each boasting its own brightness: three bold kimchi flavors, two delightfully unique fermented salsas, and three uniquely delicious fermented beverages. Our business has grown too, and we know that if we continue to do the right thing – take good care of our customers, employees, suppliers, and community – wildbrine will naturally thrive. We are excited to continue exploring our wild possibilities.
About the Process
Our process starts with our partners—the local West Coast farmers and other responsible sources that provide our fresh vegetables. When the produce arrives onsite, we handle and inspect every piece, then get it ready for production the hands-on-way like you do at home—by shredding Napa cabbage, hand peeling ginger, finely chopping beets, grating horseradish root, and hand stemming, seeding, and coring jalapenos. It really makes a difference. Once our fresh raw ingredients are ready, we add sea salt and spices, mix, then tuck them away in the proper environment to ferment.
We love what fermentation does to food. The process elevates the flavor of produce and brings their nutrient and probiotic power to life. We focus on bringing out the best flavor of our vegetables, while still staying true to the wholeness of each ingredient. Our favorite part is spending hours in our kitchen playing with different vegetable and spice combinations until we get it just right.
Of course, the fermentation process happens under our watchful eye. We monitor our batches of krauts, kimchis, and salsas carefully and on a daily basis. Once everything is tart, tasty, and ready, our team hand packs our containers—then wildbrine® is off to the stores and you. That’s it!
Farm to Table, Table to Farm
By the way, we make every effort to use all edible parts of our vegetables—but what we can’t use, we feed to the cows nearby. These cows are arguably our most enthusiastic supporters…or at least the loudest.
Chris and Rick