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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fort Thomas Couple Begins Simple Cultures That Offers Simple Healthy Food

Simple Cultures products. 

The Spicy Pickles made by Simple Cultures are the best pickles I have ever had. That is a seriously bold claim, but once you try them then you will be a believer too. And when you finish the jar, you can add the leftover juice to make a healthy martini. Well, that is the claim that Tom and Marta Vennemann made.

And after tasting their products, I believe them. As I ate one of their pickles, Marta says, “And it’s good for you.” She is referring to the probiotics used in making the pickles. Seriously, if eating healthy tastes this good, then sign me up.

Marta and Tom Vennemann began Simple Cultures in 2016. And like so many great ideas, this was the result of several intersecting events. Marta is a nurse, a mom, a wife, and an avid cook. She wanted the best for herself and her family. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 41. Tom observes that, “Being a cancer survivor changed her outlook on things especially about what we put in our bodies.”  Fortunately the disease was caught early and an effective treatment cured her. But she had questions.

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She wanted to keep her body healthy so she began reading and soon discovered the benefits of fermented foods.  Her husband, Tom, was a home brewer so together they experimented with fermenting foods for about five and half years. Soon they were sharing their creations with friends, getting feedback, and tweaking recipes.  Then came the leap of faith. She put her nursing career on hold and is now growing the business - Simple Cultures.
Tom and Marta Vennemann pose with some of their fermenting products.

She discovered that there is a connection between fermented foods and good health so it seemed natural to market their recipes.  Marta says, “Oh, yeah. Looking back on it now, I should've gone to culinary school. I love creating new recipes. I am working longer hours now but I enjoy it so much. I’d rather someone take this than medication.” She smiles. Her excitement is contagious.

Marta says, “I have kimchi every day for breakfast, sometimes with scrambled eggs.” Tom uses kimchi or sauerkraut on brats or any grilled meats.  Their kids love it.  Tom likes to toss kimchi in a salad instead of salad dressing. It is a completely vegan product full of probiotics that creates good gut health that we now know is important to good health.

Through a series of happy accidents they landed in the kitchen of the former Anita’s Mexican restaurant owned by their friend, Bob Heil. They took classes to earn their commercial food preparation license and are now busy making some pretty tasty items. It takes 7 to 10 days for everything to ferment. So it’s a long process. Tom checks the ph balance to make sure the product complies with FDA requirements. He takes pride in their products and loves to chat about it. Their products include sauerkraut, caulisprouts, spicy pickles, mild kimchi, and kimchi.

You can taste their success. Tom says, “We are registered with Kentucky Proud so we have the stickers and are ready to go with that.” Which means they are paving the way to sell in full service markets as they build their inventory. But right now, they have been selling at Mint Yoga and they will be available at the Fort Thomas Farmer’s Market starting in June. Their website will include recipes for their products.

You can contact them at or check out their website at simple Or visit them at the Farmers Market.

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