What started as a hobby for AJ Wooten making hot sauce recipes with Greg Voyle for their friends and family members, would soon lead to a new business venture for both their families.
The Wootens and the Voyles co-own Getting Cultured, a business that uses Sequim and Washington based produce in its unique blends of traditionally fermented foods and sauces.
“Getting Cultured wants to use local resources to put new twists on the age-old tradition of lacto-fermentation, and then bring our unique recipes right back to stores and restaurants throughout the Olympic Peninsula,” Greg Voyle said.
The two families — AJ and Lindsey Wooten, their children Ruby, Tyler and Ava, and Greg and Ginger Voyle and their children Gwyneth and Gretchen — met in Sequim through a parent-run co-op for children 3-and-a-half years old and younger, where their children attended.
Getting Cultured’s products are handcrafted in small batches and are raw, organic and full of live probiotic cultures, going along with the business’ slogan, “Go With Your Gut!”
The business was started and previously owned by Eliza Winne, who worked at Nash’s farm and had a passion for fermenting vegetables.
“The original owner (Winne) started the company about five years ago while working at Nash’s,” Voyle said.
“With all of the incredible local produce available from organic farms, a personal passion for and knowledge of fermentation, (she) launched the business.”
The Wootens and Voyles said they were inspired by her recipes and when she sold the business last year the two families jumped at the opportunity.
“That original product line in turn inspired our families to start fermenting more on our own, and eventually lead to our decision to purchase the company in October last year,” Voyle said.
The business typically sells fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi or “Sequim Chi” and a lacto-fermented hot sauce.
“Our products are hand chopped and mixed with salt, then fermented in 5-gallon ceramic German crocks for anywhere from 10 days to four weeks,” Voyle said.
“The fermentation process safely preserves the vegetables, enhances their nutritional quality, and results in a tangy, zesty and refreshingly tart product.”
The owners said their most popular items are the “Sequim Chi” and the “Midnight Mustard.”
“Eliza came up with the name (“Sequim Chi”) to create a kimchi that was as locally sourced as possible and vegan,” AJ Wooten said.
Their Midnight Mustard product uses sauerkraut with Nash’s black mustard seed and garlic.
The families’ goal is to keep the produce used in their products local, whether it be on the Olympic Peninsula or in Washington state.
“Getting Cultured works directly with Nash’s Organic Produce, River Run and other local farms to source the freshest organic vegetables and fruits, whenever they are in season,” Voyle said.
Their products and ingredients are soy, gluten, and dairy free; organic, vegan and probiotic. The owners also said their products are packed with live cultures and that they are the only local company that does this.
Getting Cultured’s products are sold at Nash’s Farm Store, Sunny Farms, Dungeness Valley Creamery and Pacific Pantry in Sequim, Agnew Grocery and Feed and Country Aire Market in Port Angeles.
The business also sells their products at the Discovery Bay Store and Port Townsend Food Coop in Port Townsend, the Hama Hama Seafood Company in Hood Canal and the Tacoma Boys-Tacoma Store in Tacoma.
The owners said more recipes are in the works, including an El Salvadorian-style sauerkraut and a lavender sauerkraut that will be out this year.
They currently use the commercial kitchen space at the Elk’s Lodge in Sequim but are hoping in the future to make their business a full-time job, and co-own a farm and kitchen where they can grow and make their products in-house.
“Our goals for the immediate future are to expand our product line using local seasonal produce, and to continue diversifying our mark,” Voyle said.
“Long-term, we’d like to own the farm that grows (at least some of) the ingredients and the kitchen that produces our treats.”
For more information, visit gettingcultured.net or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-856-6243.