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Kraut Guy Sells Flavored Sauerkraut
A passion to eat well and a plan for staying busy in his retirement led Joel Linker to become The Kraut Guy. “It’s been a rewarding experience working this business with my wife Mary in our friend’s commercial kitchen and going to farmers markets in and around the Twin Cities,” he says.
An article he read about the health benefits of sauerkraut led him to make his first batch.
“After it was ready to eat, I just couldn’t stop eating it, and when other people tasted my kraut, they said I should enter the state fair,” he says. After that, his interest in sauerkraut grew.
Fermenting cabbage with salt has been around for thousands of years, dating back to Genghis Khan, so he notes there’s no secret recipe. The Linkers follow a simple mixture of cabbage and sea salt. Many customers say The Kraut Guy sauerkraut is just like the kraut their grandmothers made in earthenware crocks that they kept in the root cellar.
With the rapid growth of their business, the Linkers eliminated the labor of shredding cabbage and cutting up fruit and vegetables for their kraut blends. They purchase everything shredded or chopped, a decision that’s been a lifesaver and allows them to make larger batches in less time.
“Recently, we processed 600 lbs. of cabbage and other ingredients and spent a week mixing it. We put the ingredients in our buckets, waited three or four weeks for the lacto-fermentation process to do its job, and then filled nearly 1,000 jars for the upcoming markets,” Joel says.
In addition to their plain kraut, Joel and Mary have developed other flavors: Applelicious (apples and cinnamon), Pickle Dilly (cucumber, dill, and garlic), Latin American (jalapenos, red pepper flakes, Mexican oregano, carrots, and red onions) and the always popular, Classic Caraway.
The Kraut Guy slogan “It’s not just for brats anymore!”™ highlights their mission to promote different ways to use sauerkraut.
“Use it with salads, flour tortilla wraps, tacos, pizza, smoothies, Reuben sandwiches, or just a couple of forkfuls every day right out of the jar to maintain good gut health,” Mary says.
The Linkers only sell their 16 oz. jars at the farmers’ markets but offer preorders online for pickup at the markets.
Contact: FARM SHOW Follow up, Joel and Mary Linker, Bloomington, Minn. (ph 952-567-1057; joel@thekrautguy.com; www.thekrautguy.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4