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Alberta Yield: Heyday Fermentables wants more people brewing up homegrown flavour

The idea started simmering when Calgarians Margot Loveseth and her husband were gifted a SCOBY.

For those who don’t know, a SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It’s formed after the fermentation process of lactic and acetic acid bacteria. It’s used to form sour foods and beverages like kombucha and kimchi.

They started making kombucha after getting the SCOBY and really noticed a difference in their gut health.

“I started to look and see what other options there were, and I discovered that sauerkraut, in particular, is actually a probiotic powerhouse,” Loveseth said.

She had time to test and experiment, digging into the good advice and bad on making quality sauerkraut. One thing she realized was that store-bought products all come pasteurized, so they didn’t have any probiotics anyway.

That galvanized her resolve to make it herself.  With that, Heyday Fermentables was conceived.

“The more I did it and realized that once you get a few things down, it’s actually pretty easy, I thought somebody should make this easier,” she said.

Turned into a kit

Heyday Fermentables provides users with a home fermenting kit. They include the vessel and other hardware required for the process.

With it, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi can all be made.

“We also include all of the ingredients, because with fermentation, the proportions are very important,” she said.

“It includes quality produce, as well as top-notch seasonings and clean sea salt.”

What she says she did is eliminate all of the frustrating trial and error people can run into when fermenting at home.  The internet isn’t always the best place to learn, but that’s where most people go, Loveseth said.

“The internet is garbage in, garbage out. There’s a lot of information out there and not all of it is true. That learning process can be quite frustrating,” she said.

“The journey of learning to ferment can be quite overwhelming. But, but the process itself is actually really, really easy.”

New perspectives

Loveseth described herself as a serial entrepreneur. Prior to Heyday, she sold another business.

What appealed to her about the Platform Calgary Alberta Yield program was she would be building a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was going to shed a whole new light on building a small business from the ground up.

“I’m used to networking and talking to people and just feeling the entrepreneurial energy and bouncing ideas off of people,” she said.

“I really missed that opportunity to be out and about. Alberta Yield has given me that, but it’s also given me a whole new perspective on how to look at a new startup.”

Loveseth really wants people to start fermenting at home. She said there are hundreds of recipes for all sorts of fermentables.

“Frankly, it’s a lost art. It’s a stepping to a flavour profile that can change your meals,” she said.

“That would be my goal is just to open up our eyes to the  flavour potential of fermented foods, and to get people to do it themselves.”