Let’s start with an introduction. My name is Scotty Sheridan. I am 48 years old and I live in a very large city(Houston, TX). I make my means through small business ventures. The last one was a skateboard shop which I owned for 10 years and closed down 2 years ago. I started Scotty’s Stout Sauerkraut 3 years ago when I decided that I was tired of retail and that there seemed to be some real opportunities in fermented foods. I had become interested in gut health about 5 years before when it became an issue in a loved ones life. I read a couple books, made a bunch of ferments and and was soon blown away with the results. Since then I have taken a journey not just through the world of fermentation but I’ve started down many other equally fascinating paths. I became a farmers market salesman and learned a ton about healthy living and healthy foods from my co-workers and patrons. I have spent the last three years working in commercial kitchens learning the ways of commercial food processing. Most of all, I’ve become a fermenter. I sell fermented vegetables but at home I ferment dairy, I make green meads from local honey, I have a sourdough starter, I eat semi-alcoholic fruits I’ve been working on for months. What I’ve found from all this is that being a fermenter is not about food and diet, its a lifestyle.
My business partner and room mate is James Cole. He came into the business after leaving the restaurant industry where he had been an executive chef at high end steak houses for 20 years. Together we have a commercial kitchen where we do large scale production for supermarkets and farmers markets. We have a fermentation room in our house where we can experiment and do small batches from our garden. Obviously we have a garden. We also have chickens and dogs. We have a compost pile which we work regularly. We both love to work/shop/hang out at farmers markets. We are concerned about the quality of the food available at supermarkets. We are also worried about the sustainability of supply chains which give us food just as its needed. This is basically us in a nut shell and these are the things we want to blog about.
Our main focus with this blog is to address fermentation issues. There is so much to say both in regards to the food side of things as well as from the health side. This has been my focus for the last five years and I want to share my experiences. But we also want to talk about the lifestyle of food preservation. I want to talk about living healthy in unhealthy environments. I want to talk about food production and specifically urban food production. Urban gardening is a subject that needs more attention. But knowing how to ferment, pickle, and preserve the bounty of your garden is just as a important. My goal is to sell sauerkraut and kimchi but I want to do it through adding momentum to the fermenting trend. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t show my customers how to ferment because then they won’t need to buy my product. I just laugh and tell them that if someone has gone as far as to start fermenting then they have probably told everyone they know about it and I’m going to get ten new customers out of that one. But more than that this is stuff everyone needs to know. Fermented foods are good for you, fantastic for preservation, and delicious. Fermentation has deep roots in our culture, its time these traditions were rediscovered.