Co-Owner Chris Glab Dishes on the wildbrine® Line of Fermented Products
- by Jordan Okumura
SANTA ROSA, CA - Walking through the fresh produce department at my local Safeway, a bright line of labels caught my eye. Situated between value-added produce offerings, and vegetarian fare, I spotted it—the wildbrine® product line.
What started as an impulse purchase has now turned into an addiction, and the consumer in me is hooked. And the trade news writer in me could not help but share with the produce buying community and beyond.
From sauerkraut, kimchi, and salsa, to Probiotic Live Shots and probiotic Sriracha—wildbrine is bringing a range of flavors to the forefront of the pickling and fermenting categories.
With such passion for its items, I felt compelled to hear the story of the company first hand, and lucky for me, Co-Owner Chris Glab was more than willing to share.
“The story of our beginnings is really a great one. Co-Founder Rick Goldberg, was Chef Mentor at the Ceres Community Project, a local nonprofit whose mission is to restore locally grown, organic whole food to its place as the foundation of health for people and the planet,” Chris tells me. “In his role, Rick instructed the middle and high school aged, volunteer staff in preparing meals for the organization’s client base of cancer patients. Because of its’ health benefits, one item served was naturally fermented sauerkraut. As a way to help raise funds for Ceres, we helped sell the products to a few local stores. So, really, this whole concept took root almost by accident.”
When the success of the natural krauts grew beyond the scope of the Ceres mission, the Executive Director asked if Chris and Rick wanted to take over the kraut business. In 2011, with the two original kraut recipes—Arame & Ginger and Garlic & Dill—at a few stores, Chris and Rick took to the task at hand: make the items available as far and as wide as their imaginations could stretch and re-branded the line under the wildbrine brand name.
Exploring and experimenting with different flavors has since paid off, bringing a host of additional items into the fold. For kraut alone, the company has introduced Beets & Their Greens, Brussels Kraut, Curry Cauliflower Kraut (my fave), Organic Smoky Kale Kraut, Raw Organic Green Kraut, Raw Organic Red Kraut, and Red Beet & Red Cabbage.
On the salsa spectrum, the company boasts a Salsa Rojo and a Salsa Verde, and kimchi delights that range from Japanese, Korean, to Thai. Consumers looking to drink their fermented delights can find flavors from Citrusy Japanese and Zesty Thai to Spicy Korean.
And I am telling you, if you want to feature a unique addition to your produce department, wildbrine’s Probiotic Smoky Jalapeño Sriracha and Spicy Kimchi Sriracha are delicious…and on the horizon, so stay tuned.
“We have increased our footprint and can now be found in retailers across the U.S. from Sprouts, Safeway, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Raley’s, to Central Market, Wegmans, and Earth Fare,” Chris shares. “Our goal is bring vibrant flavors, amazing nutrition, and unmatched versatility to produce aisles.”
If we take a cue from wildbrine, then produce is not only delicious, but fun, energetic, and inspiring as well.
Check out all the goodies for yourselves and visit wildbrine at booth 152 at the Northern California Fresh Produce & Floral Expo this Wednesday.