Shared Cultures is a small batch producer in San Francisco specializing in using koji, an ancient fungi, to create modern fermented food products. Inspired by traditional fermentation methods, wild foraged mushrooms, and the bounty of Northern California, we are creating newly imagined, farm-to-ferment misos, shoyus, and umami seasonings using the magic of koji.
FERMENTATION • FUNGI • FORAGING
Our passion for mushroom foraging led us to discover the art of preservation and fermentation in an effort to preserve nature's bounty.
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.
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.
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 one of the very first Japanese restaurants 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.
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.
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.
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.
Rancho Gordo has led the revival of interest in heirloom beans with a focus on varieties indigenous to North and Central America. Based in Napa, CA, Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo builds relationships with his suppliers over many years, ensuring a steady market for small-yield specialty products that might otherwise be lost due to the pressures to mass produce.
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.
We handcraft all of our products in San Francisco at the Bayview Makers Kitchen.
We would like to recognize and deeply thank the wonderful team behind Bayview Makers Kitchen, an initiative to transform a vacant restaurant into a thriving community hub that features local food vendors with a meaningful connection to the Bayview community in San Francisco. The Bayview Makers Kitchen was made possible by Economic Development on Third through funding from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development that focuses on building economic empowerment opportunities and preventing displacement of Bayview businesses from a historically black neighborhood.
Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bayview Makers Kitchen has given us the opportunity for our business to get on our feet, remain open, and grow as a small business. The space has also allowed us to meet and work alongside some exceptionally talented entrepreneurs in the community, including Anica Wu at Bonjerk, Jorge Islas and Kim Truong at Frank Grizzly’s, Gabriel Ventura at Nixta Foods, and many more!