k Los Fermentistas k
Los Fermentistas are husband and wife team Bex and Jakob who are taking the health conscious side of Ibiza by storm with their amazing gut friendly products. The family run business specialises in the cultivation of micro-organisms using locally sourced ingredients. Their artisanal range consists of kimchi (classic, classic vegan & carrot), also seasonal specials such as pumpkin and daikon, and obviously not forgetting a fermented favourite sauerkraut. On the drinks side, they produce the incredible Kombucha and Jun. The ambassadors of gut health Los Fermentistas are spreading the word to revolutionize and reclaim your inner garden and with the coolest of cool branding, pop up collaborations with Ibiza’s most respected chefs and hosting fermentation workshops, my gut feeling is that this is just the beginning for this delightful duo….
How did the whole fermented adventure happen for you?
The first live fermented product I tried was Sauerkraut, on a camping trip with friends in Germany, I felt an instant bodily reaction, like something my body had been waiting for, it was amazing! I dove straight in and got my first ever scoby for Kombucha and began to make a very basic version of Kimchi. I hadn’t realised just how much impact ferments would have on my health, my digestive system began to function properly and the acne I had become accustomed to cleared up. Jakob being an avid chef and scientist took things to the next level and the experiments diversified, we began to make more varieties of kimchi, and sauerkraut and water kefir were added to the repertoire. Through much trial and error, orange walls and purple splashed ceilings we began to perfect our recipes. Jars of pickles filled the shelves, pots of Sauerkraut and Kimchi bubbled, and bottles of Kombucha and Kefir fizzed.
And why Ibiza?
We had both been wanting to relocate from our home, Amsterdam of 17 years. We were keen to live closer to nature and farm vegetables along with our microorganisms. Also Jakob had a serious motorbike accident which made us realise just how fragile life is and that we shouldn’t procrastinate any longer and really go for the life we want to live! In October 2015 we came to Ibiza to visit a friend, for me it was the first time, and for Jakob the place that he had learnt to swim as a boy. Within a week our ‘Gut feeling’ told us this was the place for us and it would seem the island felt the same, everything flowed beautifully and by December 2015 we had rented our dream cottage in the countryside…and not looked back!
How would you encourage people to get fermented foods into their diets?
Fermented foods are an addition to a diet you don’t have to make big shifts or cut anything out necessarily – just add one or two things. We recommend a spoonful of Sauerkraut or Kimchi daily, and a few shots of either Kombucha or our Jun. These small additions can have such huge health benefits. Kimchi and Sauerkraut are condiments that work with everything and enhance the flavour experience of any meal. We like to eat them as a snack in between meals. They give great satisfaction and stop unhealthy cravings by balancing the gut microorganisms. The drinks can be drank as shots, or mixed into cocktails, once your body is used to them, they make a great replacement for soda’s or other soft drinks.
What have been the biggest challenges you have had?
Our biggest challenge alongside working together (!!) has been to learn how to make business in a new country, learn the idiosyncrasies of (to us) a new bureaucracy and to find the right people to help us not do this alone. We have achieved this now and are super happy with all our advisers.
What does the future hold for your products?
Our products will begin to appear in more select shops throughout the island of Ibiza. We will continue to sell at the Forada market as we adore it, the integrity of the producers there and the community we have become part of. It’s a perfect place to meet and talk to people about what we do and let them try before they buy. We are now wholesaling to restaurants and doing summer season workshops in retreats.
Are you doing any collaborations/ pop-ups this season?
Yes! Quite a few things on the cards, this season we will be participating in the Meke Coffee Roasters event of street food pop ups, Jakob will be one of the invited chefs and I will be making a fermented cocktail bar. We will be doing collaboration with Boris Buono at La Finca, and James Calvin Knight, a gastro pub chef (and dear friend). There are a few other things in the pipeline….for those you’ll need to tune into our Facebook page for updates. We will also be running seminars and workshops as I mentioned before at retreats, teaching people the basics of fermentation, and making sauerkraut together.
Tell me about your deliveries and the Luna cycle?
For now we do deliver during the week arranging deliveries with clients. In the future we want to align our production and deliveries with the moon to ensure bio dynamic products. We plan to harvest with the moon phases, which regulate the sap flow within plants and ferment the vegetables within 24 hours to ensure maximum freshness and flavour. Therefore the ferments will be ready for delivery in rhythm to the moon.
What would you dream vision of Ibiza be in 2027 – what changes would you like to see…
A plastic free island! Funded by tourist tax, tourists would receive a canvas shopping bag on arrival that they could use during their holiday and take home as a souvenir. Shops would no longer be allowed to give plastic bags. Oceans cleaned of the micro plastics! We are supporting initiatives such as ‘Seabin’ in order to achieve this. More sustainability projects that try to compensate for the extreme seasonal aspect of the tourism industry. Better water saving solutions using sensible water systems – grey water, rainwater tank filtration. Support for solar power projects.
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