OUR STORY

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Shared Cultures is a small business in

San Francisco specializing in using koji, an ancient fungi, to create modern fermented food products. Inspired by traditional fermentation methods, we are creating newly imagined, alternative soy sauces, misos, and marinades using the magic of koji.

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FERMENTATION • FUNGI • FORAGING

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Our passion for mushroom foraging led us to discover the art of preservation and fermentation in an effort to preserve nature's bounty.

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While exploring the world of fermentation, we came to learn about KOJI, one of the oldest wild fungi in existence. Koji has been used for centuries as the catalyst to ferment important foods in our cultural backgrounds such as soy sauce, miso, and sake.

Our combined passion for fungi and fermentation has revived an important part of our traditional food culture while driving our curiosity to reimagine and share these traditional foods with a modern approach. 

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Eleana Hsu

Shared Cultures, Co-Founder

eleana@shared-cultures.com

IG:@sharedcultures

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Kevin Gondo

Shared Cultures, Co-Founder

kevin@shared-cultures.com

IG: @kevingondo

As a team, we combine the traditions of our Chinese American and Japanese American heritage to guide the products that we share with our community today.

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Eleana's grandmother was an excellent fermentress, using koji to make traditional ferments such as dòubànjiàng, tiánmiànjiàng, and jiuniang. Kevin's grandparents are noted for helping to introduce Japanese food and culture to Texas, opening the very first Japanese restaurant in 1962. Inspired by both of our families' past, we hope to honor our cultural food traditions with a modern approach as we combine our passions through the art of fungal fermentation with Shared Cultures.

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OUR INGREDIENTS

We are committed to sourcing delicious and nourishing ingredients,

with an emphasis on organic, local, and sustainability, for all of our products. As we continue to grow, honoring this commitment is of the utmost importance to us. We also strive to transform secondary, local produce into exciting seasonal ferments that help mitigate food waste.

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Our spices are sourced from Burlap & Barrel, a Public Benefit Corporation building new international food supply chains that are equitable, transparent, and traceable. Burlap & Barrel connects smallholder farmers to high-value markets, educates consumers about the impact of product traceability on human rights, and sources unique foods with terrior that are grown biodynamically and organically using traditional techniques.

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Our wild-foraged and organic cultivated mushrooms are sourced from Far West Fungi, a local, family-owned, and operated mushroom farm that has been dedicated to the growing, distribution, and marketing of organic specialty mushrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 35 years. 

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Our organic heirloom rice is sourced from Koda Farms, the oldest, continuously family-owned (third-generation Japanese) and operated rice grower in California, based in the San Joaquin Valley. 

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Our salt is sourced from the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Salt Co, which started small—selling salts at farmer's markets and festivals. As word spread, SF Salt Co quickly found its way to San Francisco’s iconic Pier 39 and beyond. 

It truly feels special to be able to build relationships with our supplier partners and support these incredible family-owned businesses as we continue to grow.