Hampton Brine company logoNadia Ernestus, who calls herself “The Kraut Kween”, is a nutritional and lifestyle Certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of the Hamptons Brine raw artisanal sauerkraut company, which launched in the Hamptons, NY, in May 2014 to wide acclaim. The brand currently offers a classic Russian kraut made with organic cabbage and carrots, a crunchy cabbage-only version, sauerkraut made with kale and bay leaf and a spicy style with cabbage jalapeno peppers and beets, as well as 4 flavors of organic kvass — Ernestus’s creative take on the relatively well-known beet kvass — made from the brine of the kraut products.

Often referred to as superfoods, fermented sauerkraut and kvass are recognized and highly valuable sources of hundreds different strains of live probiotics and enzymes and that positively impact one’s immune system strength and digestive systems. “Eating raw sauerkraut on a regular basis can also lower LDL cholesterol, assist in managing Type 2 diabetes, improve digestive function, and decrease allergies. We use centuries-old traditional methods, organic ingredients including organic vegetables, water, sea salt and Himalayan salt, and our special brining method, to produce delicious vitamin-C rich sauerkraut and kvass. Our products are left to ferment for up to 6 weeks, which insures the maximum amount of live organisms possible,” adds Ernestus.

Hamptons Brine Sauerkraut and Kvass resulted from Coach Ernestus’s popular interactive workshops on the benefits of fermentation at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton. During the past summer, she sold her products at local farmers markets, and placed the line in many health food and gourmet food stores, including Provisions, IGAs Amagansett and Southold, Second Nature Markets and others. She now employs five people and makes her sauerkraut at the state-of-the-art, 8,400-square-foot Stony Brook University Open Kitchen Incubator facility at Calverton, NY. “The incubator is an amazing facility,” says Ernestus. “Its goal is to help all kinds of businesses to grow by removing the financial costs of infrastructure.”

Every step of production, from chopping the cabbage to putting it in jars to applying the labels to preparing it for shipment is done by hand by Ernestus, who designed the company’s website and online store herself, with help from GoDaddy’s website-building tools. Keeping up with the demand is daunting, but Ernestus is passionate about her products. “My goal is to make the world healthier, clarifying the contradictory dietary advice available today, while relying on local, organic foods to create simple, sustainable nutrition plans and lifestyles.”

Hamptons Brine became the recipient of the Edible East End 2015 Local Hero award in the Food/Beverage Artisan category.

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