Tag Archives: sourcing

Authenticity

Hatch Lab Marketplace: Finding Artisans Who Share Our Values

In the Hatch Lab marketplace we’re currently shining a bright light on 15 artisan companies from Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado, and Wisconsin, with many more to come in the months ahead. Each company we partner with is invited to join Hatch Lab because its business practices and values align with ours. We look for companies and their founders who exemplify the values of authenticity, quality, sustainability, and encouragement. What do each of these things mean to us?

Authenticity

Values: Authenticity

We seek partners who are expert artisans and change agents, artisans who do their work with integrity and a strong sense of purpose. Hatch Lab artisan partners are driven to make a positive impact on the world and are truly passionate about their craft. You might even call these artisans single-minded; they have deep technical expertise and they are searching for more opportunities to spread the good word and inspire others. We partner with artisans who have a story to tell and are not content with the status quo. Continue reading Hatch Lab Marketplace: Finding Artisans Who Share Our Values

Ritual Chocolate - Robbie and Anna

Ritual Chocolate: Handcrafting Small-Batch Bean-to-Bar Chocolate the Old-Fashioned Way

Ritual Chocolate - Robbie and AnnaIn 2008, Anna Davies and Robbie Stout met and fell in love in Boulder, Colorado. As young romantics, they looked for ways to express their new love. One of the old standbys—chocolate—failed them, since back then, it was nearly impossible to find Colorado-crafted fine chocolate. They bonded in a quest to remedy that problem. And in 2010, Ritual Chocolate was born. Robbie and Anna set up the business to handcraft small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate using classic European techniques and vintage equipment, while adding modern American twists.

Once they’d decided to make chocolate, they dove right in and started educating themselves by reading old chocolatier books, scouring the Internet, and experimenting like crazy. Their education included a trip to Costa Rica and Panama to visit cacao farms. After learning the basics, they bought and built some equipment and began making dark decadence. Continue reading Ritual Chocolate: Handcrafting Small-Batch Bean-to-Bar Chocolate the Old-Fashioned Way

Elizabeth and her little helpers in the kitchen

Meet Elizabeth Bretko of Uber Herbal

Elizabeth and her little helpers in the Uber Herbal kitchenAccording to Merriam-Webster, “Uber” is a German word that means “to an extreme or excessive degree” (that’s right, it doesn’t mean a car service worth $70 billion), and the word “herbal” refers to “a book about plants especially with reference to their medicinal properties.” As Elizabeth Bretko, the owner of Uber Herbal in Grants Pass, Oregon, explains, “Herbal refers to something that really tells the story of the plant. It’s like the collected folklore.”

Elizabeth opened Uber Herbal in 2012, selling her herbal concoctions at the local farmers market. Then, in April 2015, she opened a tea shop, tea bar, and production kitchen in downtown Grants Pass after a successful Kickstarter campaign. At Uber Herbal, a small, but growing operation, Elizabeth wears every hat. Continue reading Meet Elizabeth Bretko of Uber Herbal

Nick - Strongwater Bitters and Shrubs

Strongwater: Crafting Organic Bitters and Shrubs in Denver, Colorado

Nick - Strongwater Bitters and ShrubsStrongwater Spirits & Botanicals, founded in 2015 in Denver, Colorado, crafts and sells organic bitters and shrubs. Bitters are created by soaking barks, berries, roots, and flowers in alcohol. Add the resulting liquid to vodka, gin, whiskey, or other spirits to create tasty cocktails; or to sparkling water to flavor lunchtime refreshment; or take it straight up to aide with digestion. Shrubs date back to colonial times and are made with fruit-infused vinegar and a sweetener—most often sugar, but Strongwater uses raw Colorado honey and organic apple cider vinegar—and were traditionally a way to preserve the fruits of summer.

Strongwater offers Turmeric, Chocolate Vanilla, Spicy Lemon Ginger, Wildflower, and Orange Licorice bitters, while their shrub flavors include: Blueberry & Mint, Cherry & Thyme, Ginger & Pear, Peach & Rose, and Persimmon & Lavender. Yum! Continue reading Strongwater: Crafting Organic Bitters and Shrubs in Denver, Colorado

Josh from The Coffee Ride

The Coffee Ride: Delivering Single-Origin, Direct-Trade Coffee by Bike

Josh from The Coffee RideJosh Crane is a cyclist and coffee enthusiast who, while in the midst of applying to medical school, did an about-face and decided instead to become a coffee roaster with a twist: He delivers almost all of the coffee he roasts in a bike trailer. His company is The Coffee Ride and it was founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 2015.

Josh started the company because he wanted to share his love of coffee with others and create a business model in which, as he explains it, “Everyone wins, from the farmers to the consumers.” When Josh first started roasting coffee, he made it for friends at work “because they only brought in terrible coffee,” he says. It turned out that his bike commute to work and making coffee for his colleagues were the two best parts of his day. That’s when he decided to combine these two sources of happiness and “do it for the rest of my life.” It wasn’t long before Josh sold his car to buy a coffee roaster.  Continue reading The Coffee Ride: Delivering Single-Origin, Direct-Trade Coffee by Bike

Marcus McCauley and his son fermented cabbage

Fermenting, Farming, and Family: Meet Marcus McCauley of Picaflor and McCauley Family Farm

Marcus McCauley and his son fermenting kimchiMarcus McCauley named his brand Picaflor, the Spanish word for hummingbird. This flittering, pointy-nosed pollinator is believed to represent playfulness, enjoyment of life, resiliency, and in some cultures a bridge between the past and the future because of its unique ability to fly both backwards and forward. Given Picaflor’s origins and Marcus’s intentions, the hummingbird seems an apt mascot. Picaflor, which crafts and sells fermented hot sauces and pepper flakes, was born from a fortuitous event on Marcus’ farm.

As the story goes, a local farmer approached Marcus and said, “I’ve got a ton of peppers. If you can do something with them, you can have them.” Marcus recalls that there were at least 2,000 pounds of peppers. He accepted the bounty and the challenge, and started fermenting and experimenting. Before long, his garage was filled with overflowing, bubbling buckets of fermenting deliciousness. The first hot sauce he crafted was a sriracha that immediately gained a dedicated local following of his friends and family. He was now the hot sauce guy, and there was no turning back. Continue reading Fermenting, Farming, and Family: Meet Marcus McCauley of Picaflor and McCauley Family Farm

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for the Hatcher in your Life

Looking for creative Mother’s Day gift ideas that allow you to shop your conscience? What do kits for growing mushrooms and making cheese, tools for fermenting, books for inspired living, organic honey-sweetened chocolate, decadent face cream, and pollinator-friendly seed bombs have in common? You’ll find them all in the Hatch Lab shop.

We have seven great Mother’s Day gifts in our shop. Each one is unique, high-quality, and made with care by expert artisans from Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado, and Wisconsin who all prioritize the health of humans and the planet. Continue reading Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for the Hatcher in your Life

Cheesemaking Tips from Gianaclis Caldwell, Author of Mastering Basic Cheesemaking

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

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Meet Gianaclis (Gee-on-a-klees) Caldwell. She lives in Southern Oregon on land her parents bought in the 1940s, where she was raised to be self-sufficient—not because it was cool but because it was necessary. Her family grew much of their own food, and they had cows for milk and dairy products. She explains, “My mom canned all summer. She knew exactly how many quarts of string beans, how many quarts of tomatoes we needed to make it through the winter.” Though Gianaclis moved away from the land for nearly 23 years and enjoyed a succession of careers including as a nurse and an installation artist, she returned to the property with her husband and daughters in 2005 to build Pholia Farm. Continue reading Cheesemaking Tips from Gianaclis Caldwell, Author of Mastering Basic Cheesemaking

Cheese Therapy and the Art of Buying Curd with Jessica Beer of Cured

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

Jessica Beer, Cured

Meats, cheeses, carefully chosen wines, chocolates, pickles, and goodies from local farms—these are some of the beautiful things you’ll find at Cured, a small specialty shop in Boulder, Colorado. Just visiting the shop is a treat in itself, and I’ve been doing so for years. I was delighted to sit down with Jessica Beer, cheesemonger, cheese buyer, and the store’s general manager, to learn a bit more about how to be an informed cheese consumer.

Jessica began her cheesemonger journey at the young age of 15 in northwest Philadelphia. Told by her parents that it was time for her to get a job, Jessica knew exactly what she wanted to do. So she walked into her local cheese shop, The Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, which had been operating since the early ‘70s and had a 60-pound log of provolone hanging from the ceiling, and boldly asked for a job. To her delight, they complied and she began working weekends and after school for the next seven years. She speaks more fondly of the experience than most do about their first job, saying, “I worked there all the time and I just fell in love with the smells and the tastes and the stories and talking to people.” And while Jessica has explored other passions over the years, four years ago when she moved to Colorado, she returned to the world of cheese, first at Whole Foods as a cheese specialist, and then at Cured. Continue reading Cheese Therapy and the Art of Buying Curd with Jessica Beer of Cured

Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Cheesemaker from Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft
Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft in her kitchen

In her own words, Claudia Lucero wants cheesemaking to be “easy, accessible, and empowering for everyone.” Claudia, a California native, lives in Portland, Oregon, and is the founder of Urban Cheesecraft, a thriving company that grew out of her own discovery that cheesemaking sits squarely at the intersection of creativity, science, and community.

When she first moved to Portland, Claudia lived in a small apartment that didn’t have a yard for growing veggies, so she joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) group through which she received a fresh, diverse box of locally grown goodies every week. Fairly quickly, the beans and cabbage began to roll in by the bushel, so Claudia needed to find some creative things to do with them. After a bit of research on the Internets, she was armed with creative recipes for pickles, jams, and various ferments. Then she started whipping up yogurt and butter, fermenting with whey, and before long—crafting cheese! She started with simpler cheeses like paneer and ricotta, then graduated to goat cheeses and mozzarella, and soon she was creating first-class fromage. She was totally hooked. And so were her friends with whom she generously and enthusiastically shared her delicacies. Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Cheesemaker from Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft