Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sash Sunday, Founder of OlyKraut SPC, located in Olympia, WA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Since 2008, OlyKraut has been crafting raw, organic sauerkrauts, pickles, and sipping brines in Olympia, Washington. We believe in growing a healthy regional food system and thriving happy gut microbes, and to do this, we use locally-sourced, nutritionally powerful ingredients and traditional preservation techniques, and we never ferment in plastic.

Our products are prepared by hand, naturally fermented, and kept alive and full of healthy probiotics. We build connections with local farmers by buying more local produce each year and love seeing these farms grow alongside our company.

Our customers are those seeking gut-healing foods, local and sustainable foods, and foodies who are interested in top-shelf products in each category. We are Certified Organic, B-Corp Certified, and Woman-Owned. We prioritize local sourcing and high-quality products.

Tell us about yourself

I discovered raw sauerkraut as I was figuring out how to transition from being a party animal to being a person who cares for my body and health. Fermented foods became an important part of my diet and remained so to this day. At that time, I was thinking about our food system and the Standard American Diet and wanted to see it shift away from profit-driven decisions and towards those made to support the health of the people and the planet we live on.

I saw that smaller local organic farms were doing things really well, and I figured that as a business, I could support them more meaningfully than as an individual. OlyKraut came out of that desire to build up a food system and economy that seemed a much healthier alternative to the large centralized system that dominates our food system today, alongside a growing fanaticism for fermented foods and all the amazing health benefits we can get from eating them.

I still feel really good about putting so much of my time and energy into such an endeavor, and over the years, I've found working with people and considering the role those small businesses can play in undoing white supremacy and helping to heal ourselves and our communities. This is very much a learning process, and we are still struggling to be a financially viable business, so it remains a small part of the whole project that is OlyKraut, but the mindset absolutely informs our day-to-day decisions as much as it can.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Staying in business for over 14 years, I guess. I like seeing all the people that have come to OlyKraut pretty young and developed skills that make their time more valuable out in the world, it's hard when really great people leave, but when it's to go on to start their own business or just earn way more money than I can afford to pay them, and I know some of that is from their experience at OlyKraut, I'm actually stoked.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It's kind of lonely, and sometimes people make assumptions about business owners, that we are making a ton of money, or are super capitalist, or just very together (haha). The reality is it's extremely stressful, and in many ways, there is no way out but through, and that's not true for anybody else in the business - they can quit and get other jobs; we owners are kind of chained to the project and after a certain point will have to go down with the ship, if that's the turn it takes.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Make sure that whatever it is you are doing is something that really fires you up - like it must serve your core values. There will be countless times when running the business will be very frustrating, overwhelming, and just plain miserable, and if you don't have a really powerful reason to be putting yourself into the work, then you probably won't, and it can cost a lot of money to get a small business off the ground so you shouldn't start it if you don't want to see it through.

The 80:20 rule is a valid observation; take heed.

The people you bring in to work with you are the most valuable part of your business, and you should treat them that way. Let people make mistakes without the sky falling so they can take on responsibility and allow you to focus on other things. Find good people, develop relationships, and trust them. Also, know they will leave eventually, and the next person will also be amazing, so that's okay too. :)

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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