Hungry? Thirsty? As an Ann Arbor business owner, why not provide nourishment for the community with traditionally fermented foods? 

Today’s guest is David Klingenberger, founder and chief fermentation officer (CFO) of The Brinery—which processes more than 200,000 pounds of local family farm vegetables yearly to make sauerkraut, hot sauce, tempeh, and kimchi.  

Episode Highlights

  • 3:03 Turn of the Century: Let the farming and fermentation begin!
  • 5:00 Why start The Brinery? Adventurous spirit mixed with agriculture to feed people.
  • 6:05 Social Capital: With less than $1,000 to invest, use power of connections.
  • 11:35 Fermentation: Ancient form of food preservation and evolution of civilization.
  • 13:30 The Brinery’s Tagline: Stimulating your inner economy—what it represents.
  • 17:20 Playing Business: Story behind The Brinery’s catchy jingle that fits brand perfectly.
  • 18:21 Food Entrepreneurship: Fermentation takes time and adds layer of complexity.
  • 19:49 Capital Intensive: 40 barrels in 40 nights and funding from family and friends.
  • 21:10 Go to Market: Hit the ground running to get products ready for larger markets.
  • 26:57 Generalist vs. Specialist: Don’t do too many things at the same time to scale up.
  • 29:35 Lessons Learned: Believe in products and be a proud food artisan to make sales.
  • 35:15 Buyers/Customers: Find fit by managing connections on relationship channels.
  • 37:23 Sideline Businesses: Achieve success with core products and grow vertically.
  • 39:35 Definition of Success: Being happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
  • 42:03 Sense of Humility: Strength of being self-aware and knowing what you don’t know.
  • 44:10 Moments of Self-Doubt: Hold yourself accountable to levels of emotional maturity.
  • 45:55 Lasting Lessons from Failures: Adapt to control products, processes, production.  

Links and Resources:

The Brinery

Zingerman’s Deli

Why and How Visioning Works by Ari Weinzweig

Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Chris McCandless (Into the Wild)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi Documentary

Jason Fried of Basecamp

Huck Finch

Life On Brand Webpage

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