08: Seth Glassman

seth glassman

Purchase Funky Fresh Kombucha at these locations

Show Notes:

Funky Fresh Ferments:

  • Funky Fresh Ferments is a Philly based fermentation company

    • Currently, they are mostly in the Kombucha, but also make sauerkraut and other fermented products

  • Founder, Seth Glassman, and I met during the Philadelphia Film Fest last fall while I was bartending at the Film Festival’s VIP lounge

  • Seth’s degree is in Advertising and Design, but he didn’t want to advertise for products he didn’t believe in

  • He started a website design company with a Belarusian friend, but had to close shop when the friend went back to Belarus

  • Seth had always had an entrepreneurial spirit — as a kid he would sell Looney Toons drawings and sell objects he found, make t-shirts for bands

  • The Funky Fresh Ferments story:

    • Seth’s father passed away and he decided to take a trip to California and couch surf for a few months

    • He took off to Alaska to work in a Salmon cannery to make some extra money

    • Seth went from Alaska to Portland, then took an Uber to Arcadia California

    • He had four months to wander before his brother’s wedding

    • He bought a sleeping bag and a tent and bounced around Cali

    • Seth ended up on an eco-friendly sustainable farm

    • He drank their Kombucha and fell in love

    • Seth got back in 2013 and started brewing that Winter

    • Seth got the idea in June to sell sauerkraut at the Punk Rock Flea Market and had just enough time to make the labels and the product

    • He sold out and thus Funky Fresh was born

  • Some anxiety is good anxiety, as long as it's related to something you need to get done — it’s the fire under your ass

  • Seth loves giving out brew-your-own-kits and getting feedback from his customers

  • Seth is from Montgomery County, but came down frequently for concerts and the holidays

  • Seth lived in University City while going to school between 2005 and 2009

    • Philadelphia has changed a lot since ‘05

    • No. Libs, Seth’s current neighborhood was much worse

  • Seth bartended at a place at Frankford and Lehigh and started cooking their — his first exposure to flavor

  • Because Kombucha is a living product, there is some regulatory red tape around it

    • If it is not stored properly, Kombucha can continue fermenting or explode

    • Seth went down to DC to do some lobbying in March and the Senators were very receptive

    • In the US, the alcohol limit is .5%, but most of the rest of the world in 1.25%, so Seth and other Kombucha producers are working to change that

  • Kombucha hah a boom in the 90s, but was stifled the 2000s because of none other than Lindsay Lohan

  • Vegan Commissary was the first place Funky Fresh was sold

    • He had the idea for Funky Fresh in June and has all his licenses by October

  • Biggest Mistake: Seth would go back and carefully consider how to make everything as sustainable as possible, so as to reduce waste and be green

  • Seth works with local artists to create his labels to get their name out there

  • The next step for Funky Fresh is increasing production and distribution

    • Seth wants to expand into the suburbs

    • He also wants to pick back up with sauerkraut and other fermented products

    • He is thinking of signing up with a distributor

    • However, he doesn’t want to lose any autonomy and would also like to hire a local person to deliver for him

  • Funky Fresh is also moving to a new facility very soon

    • He is leasing a space in The Common Market’s facility at 428. East Erie

    • Seth is also purchasing several large 80 gallon vats to increase production and consistency

  • Seth graduated college in 2009 — the height of the recession

  • Do not discount the barter system —  Seth frequently barters his kombucha for other services and goods he needs for Funky Fresh

Local Resources:


Stay Funky!