Hello! I’m Ben West, the founder of Homemade Cultures.
I’m half Thai and half American, though have been moving around my whole life (nine countries thus far) so home is wherever I currently am: Sweden! My background is in IT and business, and I love to cook, ferment, read, meditate, run, and hike.
When I moved to Sweden in 2017, I was looking for a change and wanted to do something I was passionate about, but was not sure what that would be. I think of Homemade Cultures as my first baby (in 2019 I had my second baby, Quinn!): a manifestation of my passions, values, and beliefs in life. There was no lightbulb moment; rather, it was a long process of self-reflection and self-discovery that led to the concept of Homemade Cultures.
Fermentation is a fascinating subject, combining food, health, science, technology, and culture. It is an ancient art, yet is currently one of the foremost topics of nutrition and health. Although scientists and technologists are greatly contributing to the understanding and application of fermentation, we have a great deal to learn from history and the knowledge that various cultures have accumulated over the past millennia.
I believe in eating whole and minimally processed foods, prepared and eaten using traditional methods that have been around for several centuries or more. This not only leads to good health and delicious food, but it also makes food and eating one of the best pleasures in life. This mindset can be applied to other areas of life as well, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole just now!
The products at Homemade Cultures reflect this philosophy. They are made from only whole food ingredients without added water, and are not filtered or strained. It’s like eating whole foods, but they are naturally preserved through the process of fermentation and in the process become tastier and healthier as added bonuses (read more about fermentation or the products). They are made at home, by hand and in traditional ceramic crocks. Even as the company grows, this homemade aspect will always be at the heart of the company and its products.