Gut flora getting you down? Microbiome under siege? With the surge of interest in the health of our gut, Gusty, a new Brooklyn-based food startup, has set out to conquer our colon conundrums with a carefully curated selection of artisanal fermented foods delivered directly to your doorstep.
To learn more about this new endeavor, we spoke with founders Edith Whey and Lawrence Scoby. They shared the story behind their beginnings; the selection process each kombucha, pickle, kraut, and kvass goes through before it makes it onto the site; and how they earned the moniker "The Etsy of fermented food."
Starter Cultures, Mothers, and Other Beginnings
"So many of our friends in Bushwick were making spectacular fermented goods," say Edith. "Jewel-colored kvasses and the best lacto-fermented sauerkraut you ever tasted were constantly being dropped off for us to try. Whenever we had people over for dinner, we'd open up a few bottles of kombucha a friend sent us, serve pickles made by a neighbor, or a sourdough bread made with a mother over 10 years old. Sooner or later, friends near and far were asking how they could get their hands on some of the fermented foods we were serving. That's when we decided to create a marketplace to bring fermented foods and a hungry public together. A year later Gutsy was born."
The Gutsy Difference
Gutsy's goal is to create an open marketplace for consumers to purchase quality, artisanal, fermented foods. They believe that everyone has the right to a healthy microbiome, and a delicious glass of ginger kombucha can get you there. That's why every item available on the site, from the coconut kefir to the overnight oats (available by next-day delivery within the New York City metropolitan area) is lacto-fermented. This process harnesses the digestive properties of lactobacillus, a beneficial bacteria on nearly every food and vegetable. With no more than distilled water, salt, and time, little lactobacillus populates the resulting fermented item with millions of the healthy bacteria.
Gutsy uses a proprietary double-ferment process to supercharge the probiotic punch of each item. In accordance with the lunar calendar, the jars are placed in direct moonlight to initiate this process. "We've found that the gravitational pull of the moon has a positive effect on fermentation," say Edith. "Kombucha brewed on the night of a full moon is how we ensure every sip gives your gut that desired glow."
The Etsy of Fermented Food
"We went through a pretty rigorous incubator program before finally getting Gutsy on its feet," says Lawrence. "Along with the vegetable bakery Broccoli Boulangerie and the dairy-free creamery, Mylk Bar, we had to come up with a fast and easy way to convey what Gutsy is all about — basically an elevator speech. The Etsy of fermented food made it really easy to explain what our company is and how it works."
The Gusty economy is full of creative fermenters looking to find meaning in helping others increase the health of their gut, one lacto-fermented pickle at a time. We're looking forward to signing up and discovering what this new service has to offer.
Wait, you didn't really think we were serious, did you? From our kitchen to your kitchen ... APRIL FOOLS! Did we get you? All joking aside, this would be kind of cool (minus all that lunar-business). If this pops up next year, just remember The Kitchn called it!