Selling sauerkraut

Jim Pringle’s fermented foods business was born out of a desire to improve the health of New Zealanders.

It’s not often a married couple in their 80s start a food production business, but that is exactly what Jim and Margaret Pringle did when they opened MaKutchen Organics.

The passionate pair made it their mission to distribute probiotic food across the country.

MaKutchen Organics closed late last year, as 91-year-old Jim wanted to find a new owner who could help the business flourish.

They produced unpasteurised, fermented vegetables commonly known as sauerkraut.  

“I didn’t find it tiring, but at my age I wanted somebody to take over the business so they could grow it. I am still waiting for that somebody – and we will teach them how to make it,” says Jim.

But Jim and Margaret still haven’t found  a willing pair of hands to take over MaKutchen Organics.

He reckons reopening the business would do “so much good” for people’s health.

“We have got all the equipment we used for manufacturing in storage at the moment – it’s all ready to go.”

Jim decided to start the business after it initially launched in Australia by Jim’s daughter Carolyn.

He saw how the product positively impacted her health and was inspired to launch the business in New Zealand.

MaKutchen Organics is still running in Australia, making sauerkraut, kombucha tea, bone broth and gut shots.

When asked why he started the business in his 80s, Jim said there is too much to do in life to bother with retirement.

“Trying to help people has always been part of my job and we believe in the product.

“If more people in New Zealand used  it, it would have a fantastic impact on  their health.”

Jim and Margaret, who consume their unpasteurised sauerkraut daily, are as healthy as can be.

They both play tennis three times a week and spend most days tending to their abundant garden of fruit and vegetables that feeds the retirement village they live in.

After eating sauerkraut for a couple of years, Jim was also taken off all pharmaceutics used to control his heart and blood pressure.

“I was taking pharmaceuticals to keep me alive, but now my blood has become 100 per cent right.

“Making MaKutchen a part of our diet meant the need for medication went out  the window.”

Loyal Tauranga MaKutchen customers still show up to Jim and Margaret’s house hoping to score some sauerkraut – the couple still produces small batches at home.

But they are holding out hope MaKutchen products will be stocked in organic stores soon.

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