Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
We have a bakery and a pharmacy so why shouldn’t we have a fermentary? Founder, Sharon Flynn, found a gaping hole in the market for unique fermented foods, setting out to provide a place where people could buy these good-for-your-gut products.
When Sharon’s daughter went through a period of bad gut health, she began to make fermented foods to help balance out her digestive system. Some friends took notice and soon she was selling creations straight from her kitchen. From there, it was an organic process – growth demanded moving into a winery, before expanding to even bigger premises in Melbourne in 2014. At this point, a new business partner, Roger Fowler, came on board, helping to spread the Fermentary name even further.
So what’s the secret to making these quality products? When it comes to wild fermentation, it’s all about timing, temperature and fresh ingredients. No
starter culture is used, so both their kimchi and kraut need to be slowly fermented and all local ingredients must be processed within a day of harvesting to keep things as fresh as possible. The ferments are kept raw (in other words, unpasteurised) meaning they’re full of wild, living and growing bacteria.
‘When Sharon’s daughter went through a period of bad gut health, she began to make fermented foods to help balance out her digestive system. Some friends took notice and soon she was selling creations straight from her kitchen.’
So what exactly can you purchase from The Fermentary? There are six main vegetable ferments: kraut with caraway; authentic kimchi; vegan kimchi; smokey jalapeño kraut; red cabbage and fennel kraut, and wild fermented pickles. The kraut actually changes flavour depending on the fermentation period, so it’s important to get the process down pat. What does it taste like? It’s crunchy, sour, salty and sweet, as well as a little nutty.
There is also a range of drinks to give your tummy a quick pick-me-up. The fig and ginger water kefir is made from filtered rain water from the Macedon Ranges and has a ginger fizz with a hint of lemon. The milk kefir can line your gut with good bacteria and is full to the brim with probiotics. It’s also low in lactose and was the winner of Best New Product at Delicious Magazine’s fine produce awards.
It’s not hard to get a taste of these stomach-pleasing creations with wholefood stores stocking the products right across Australia. You might have unknowingly already chowed down on The Fermentary’s products – they are popping up in restaurants across Victoria. The likes of The Lake House in Daylesford or Cumulus Inc regularly buy products to expand their culinary creations, including the fig and ginger water kefir on their drinks menu.
Sharon and Roger also spread the fermenting message through a number of workshops, where fellow producers are invited to learn about the art of fermentation and how to get the best result from their vegetables.