The Urban Monk is dedicated to producing high-quality cultured food products.
The Urban Monk
The Christchurch earthquakes opened up the opportunity for enterprising start-ups, many of them environmental in focus, and on Boxing Day, 2012 we launched The Urban Monk as a Facebook page. We registered The Urban Monk as a company in 2014 and in 2015 we launched our special range of cultured vegetables. Since that first little box we sold in Christchurch, we are now all over the country – you can buy our range of krauts from Auckland to Dunedin!
What Makes Urban Monk Krauts So Special?
- Urban Monk is the only maker of locally produced and certified organic fermented vegetables in New Zealand.
- Urban Monk cultured vegetables are guaranteed vegan. – We do not use a starter culture. (Starter cultures are sometimes derived from dairy.)
- With Urban Monk krauts, you are guaranteed to receive ALL the nourishing goodness a cultured vegetable can offer. – We do not pasteurise!
- We use only the best ingredients. – Did we mention the Himalayan rock salt? It’s pink!
- Urban Monk’s philosophy embraces simplicity and a minimal environmental footprint every step of the way. – Our products are hand-crafted and our vegetables are sourced as locally as possible.
- Urban Monk’s philosophy places value on people and social justice. – We support local growers, and wherever possible our spices are sourced from Trade Aid.
- We offer a number of unique flavours of sauerkraut, based on our own lovingly perfected recipes.
- Sauerkraut and beyond! – In addition to our several flavours of sauerkraut, we offer a range of unique non-cabbage based cultured vegetables, such as our Glorious Carrot & Ginger, our Blessed Beetroot and our newest recipe, the Eternal Onions, with more to come in the future…
We were so lucky to be able to start our food-making journey down at the very special Waihi Bush Organic Farm. We headed down to this family farm to live there part time, partly as a result of the quakes. Set on the fringes of ancient kahikatea forest – the only original piece of forest left on the Canterbury Plains – our food preparing premises, though humble, were truly divine.
However, with things starting to get a bit busier we shifted the business up to Christchurch in mid 2017. We are currently based in Sydenham.
Matt Morris is a leader in the local food resilience movement in Canterbury, and has been involved in the local and national organic movement since the late 1990s.
After the earthquakes Matt moved from a full role running the University of Canterbury’s Sustainability Office into doing this part of the time while also coordinating the Food Resilience Network. He took his interest in voluntary simplicity, making food from locally sourced organic ingredients, and the food network and developed The Urban Monk.
Photo credit – Jo Bind.