Saucha Living is a business that was started by friends Britta Egrid and Danielle Gentilcore, born from a mutual love of yoga, vegan foods and generally healthy living. The business includes meal plans, yoga retreats and the Kombucha brand of sparkling teas that include all manner of healthy ingredients, brewed and bottled in Cayman.
Egrid, who came to Cayman more than seven years ago as a dive instructor at Ocean Frontiers in East End, fell in love with island life, seascapes, flora, and activities such as kiteboarding and surfing, as well as diving. Following a three-year stint as a teacher at John Gray High School, she immersed herself even further in Caymanian culture, especially enjoying her weekly visit to the farmers market at The Grounds, a tradition for five years.
“As soon as I discovered all the wonderful fruits and vegetables available here, I stopped buying as much produce from the supermarkets,” she says. “In 2008, I began brewing Kombucha and educating people about its health benefits, offered tastings, and helped others get started brewing their own. I began doing vegan cooking demonstrations and tasting events in conjunction with Bliss Living and Yoga in 2010.”
Kombucha, which is actually a tea, is a great alternative to sugary drinks or alcohol. It’s brewed from “scoby,” a symbiotic culture of bacterial yeast which metabolizes the sugar and infuses the tea with its natural effervescence and health benefits. The beverage is an antioxidant, detoxifier, boosts energy, aids digestion, curbs hunger and much more, its proponents say. It is also tasty, not too sweet, and would make a great alternative to wine, particularly if you are the designated driver on a night out.
Building Saucha Living
Gentilcore, co-founder of Saucha, and Egrid began going to yoga retreats together in Little Cayman in 2011.
“I did the cooking, she did the yoga,” Egrid says. “This is really where Saucha was formed as we both thoroughly enjoyed sharing our knowledge and mutual passion of being able to offer people the benefits of healthy and clean living, centered on locally sourced ingredients.”
On the January 2013 retreat, the women realized they had similar visions and goals, so they dedicated all of their time to building Saucha.
“The concept of Saucha comes from sanskrit and is one of the aspects of yoga. It means to be conscious about everything that you take into your body, heart, mind and environment,” Egrid says.
This was the core that they built the company’s offerings around: locally sourced meal delivery, locally brewed and bottled Kombucha, and snacks and desserts that are free of refined ingredients (white flour, white sugar), non-GMO and organic, using eco-conscious materials and methods and supporting products that are socially responsible.
Locally made, locally brewed
Egrid says they always aim to support local farmers and businesses. Since she has been going to the market for so many years, Egrid says she has a long-standing relationship with the farmers.
“I have spent time on the farms and have come to know which ones use methods of pest-control and fertilization that are organic, or as close to organic as possible. For the meals and snacks, we buy organic grains, nuts, oils and spices from local suppliers. The tea for the Kombucha partially comes from local company Tea Time in Cayman, but we also bring in our own organic/fair trade tea,” she says.
All of their products are made in their Department of Environmental Health-certified kitchen, which they have nicknamed “the caboose.” The majority of their products are raw/vegan, so they are carefully processed. Gentilcore and Egrid are raw/vegan chefs trained by the Matthew Kenney Culinary Institute in the U.S.
Kombucha is available at select retail locations: Kirk’s supermarket, Bliss Living and Yoga, The Brasserie, Icoa, Bread and Chocolate, and Island Naturals. Deckers and Mizu also carry it as part of a cocktail mixer (which, Egrid says, is the perfect idea, to balance the alcohol with the health benefits of Kombucha).
Raw/vegan snacks are available at Bliss and will soon be making their debut at The West Indies Wine Company in Camana Bay, and later on this year at Kirk’s supermarket.
Vegan meals are delivered to homes or offices every Tuesday and Thursday (between West Bay and Grand Harbour).
Egrid says that Kombucha is particularly special because it is a locally brewed and bottled health drink that incorporates local flavors (Mango Tulsi, Moringa Mate and Cayman Lime Cayenne) and fresh ingredients to enhance flavor and nutritional benefits (Raspberry Pu’erh, Blueberry Nettle Oolong, Ginger Berry, Ginger Mint Mate). There are also seasonal flavors: Cran Marnier for the holiday season; Chocolate Chai from January-March and flavor specials that occasionally make an appearance: Tulsi Sweet Rose, Plum Oolong, and Happy Tea.
Egrid says that as soon as people hear “local” and “organic” and “healthy,” they want to learn more about what the couple are doing. People living in Cayman want to support this healthy lifestyle and be involved in it, she says.
“We haven’t done any advertising other than the website (www.sauchaliving.com) and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SauchaCayman), but the meal deliveries have grown due to word of mouth,” she says. “As people learn what Kombucha is, learn the benefits and find their favorite flavor, they incorporate it into their lifestyle.”
Egrid says Saucha fans should look out for more vegan classes this year.
“We have already done some vegan cooking and baking classes at Bon Vivant and at private venues,” she says. “In addition, following on from our line of body scrubs that we introduced for the Christmas season, we are rolling them out again for Valentine’s Day. We have two sugar scrubs (Mocha Spice and Coconut Ginger Citrus) and two mineral scrubs (Lavender and Peppermint).”
The pair are also beginning to do events at one of Egrid’s favorite places in Cayman: Joel Walton’s organic farm, Plantation House. The next event is Saturday, Feb. 8, and includes a garden tour, yoga in the garden and a farm-to-table vegan dinner.