Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Simpson and Palak Sadarangani.
Kristin and Palak, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Where do Mom friends meet on the soccer field! Our kids played four-year-old soccer together, but it took several more years for fate to align us together as business partners. Palak was practicing the Ayurvedic lifestyle and making and selling soup and elderberry syrup to our neighbors. When Kristin was beginning to think about transitioning out of clinical hospital pharmacy and into a more holistic lifestyle, we bonded over a documentary about the microbiome. We were both passionate about feeding our family nutrient-dense food and were blown away by the research and study of the microbiome. We were amazed at the exploding amount of information about gut health and that 80% of our immune system is found there. Eating fermented foods adds good bacteria to our guts to help maintain the balance we need for a healthy immune system. A healthy microbiome was a missing link to our family’s overall health. We knew we had to get more probiotics from fermented foods into our families’ tummies. Coincidentally, we were also both married to a Brian that had tummy trouble!
Traditional fermented foods on the market like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso, etc., became difficult to get our families to eat every day and tough to remember. We had to create something that was convenient and part of our everyday plates. That’s when the idea was born to create fermented vegetable dressings for salads, marinades, and sauces. This concept is the new revolution of fermentation, making traditional ferments more convenient and bringing them to today’s busy modern tables.
It took us almost two years to research the ins and outs of fermenting and tinkering with recipes for the dressings. We spent endless fun hours in the kitchen with the blender, getting salt concentrations just right, reading food labeling laws, creating beautiful labels, finding a bottle, sourcing veggies, and the million things you don’t think about before you start a business.
Today we have four different dressings; each bursting with color from the diversity nature gives us and loaded with unique biodiversity of nutrition and microbes. We’re at Texas Farmers Markets – Lakeline and Mueller as well as Wheatsville market.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As 2020 hit, like many, we had to pivot. We were almost ready to go in April with visions of launch parties dancing in our heads, our target distribution plan put in place some restrictions that we felt wouldn’t work for us. So with families to nurture, virtual learning, and homeschool, it was an amazing lesson to be resilient and more resourceful, and sometimes just to get needed rest. As neither one of us has a business background, we’ve so much to learn in business, food manufacturing, and marketing but leaning into new things and growing ourselves has been the best part!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We truly believe in gut health and the benefits of fermented foods. Fermented foods increase immune function. Up to 80% of our immune system is found in the gut and eating fermented foods adds good bacteria to our guts to help maintain the balance we need for a healthy immune system. We wanted to create something that was easy, tasty, and convenient for our families to get fermented foods into their everyday diets. We like to think of ourselves as the EVOLUTION of fermentation. Bring an ancient traditional process to busy modern tables. Each of our dressings is unique and bursting with a biodiversity of two plant-based vegetables giving you live prebiotics and probiotics needed for a healthy gut. Our ingredients are sourced locally and each dressing is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and made with pure avocado oil.
Each bottle or dressings gives hope to survivors of sex trafficking through our partnership with The Refuge Ranch a place for rest and restoration.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
We’ve learned that Austin is such an amazing place to start a food business. Folks in the CPG space are so generous with their time, knowledge, and connections. Lean in your network.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.culturedcarrot.com
- Instagram: @culturedcarrot
- Facebook: Cultured Carrot
4-6 Additional picture credits Richard Casteel from https://dandeliongatherings.com/video/
Personal photo credits of Palak & Kristin go to Ashton Joe Photography https://ashtonjoe.pixieset.com/