Self Care With Aki Kaltenbach

Self Care With Aki Kaltenbach

Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do!
I’m Aki Kaltenback, the founder of Save Da Sea, we manufacture plant-based seafood made from whole foods out of our facility in Victoria, Canada. Our purpose is to help alleviate pressure on our oceans by providing delicious and easy alternatives to help consumers make better choices to eat sustainably. We have three products in the market including two smoked salmon alternatives made from carrots and a plant-based tuna salad made from jackfruit and are available in 500+ grocery stores across Canada including Sobeys, Save-On-Foods and Whole Foods.

What are your non-negotiable morning rituals Before Life Happens?
A pour-over coffee with freshly ground beans from my favourite roaster, Bows, a roaster based in Victoria. 
What inspired you to start Save Da Sea and create plant-based seafood?
I came up with the idea for Save Da Sea while I was running my family’s Japanese restaurants. In 2018 I became vegan and I was looking for plant-based seafood alternatives for myself, but also to serve our customers. To my surprise I couldn't find any so I developed my own recipes, and served these products in our restaurants. After validating that there was a market for these products, I made the leap to focusing on Save Da Sea full-time in 2019.

Living a sustainable lifestyle goes beyond business for you. How do you incorporate eco-friendly practices into your daily life outside of your work?
How we eat is one of the most impactful ways we can reduce our carbon footprint as individuals. We eat a primarily plant-based diet in our household, and my belief is that a world that largely thrives on plants is a happier and healthier place.
Do you have a favourite product from Save Da Sea? What makes it special to you?
I can’t choose, they all have their place at the table. Our Original Smoked Salmon is great for Japanese applications like sushi, our Dill Caper Smoked Salmon product is perfect for making easy lox bagels and our ‘Tuna Salad’ makes a mean tuna melt.

Can you share a recipe that incorporates one of your products? We'd love to try it out!
One of my fave appies to serve is Inari sushi topped with Save Da Sea Plant-based Smoked Salmon. Also known as Inarizushi, this is a Japanese dish made of sushi rice stuffed inside seasoned deep-fried tofu pockets called Inari age.
You can find Inari age from any Asian grocery store like T&T or Fujiya. All you then have to do is make sushi rice, stuff the sushi rice into the tofu pockets and top with our ‘smoked salmon’ and garnish with sesame seeds.
How do you end your day? Are there any other self-care practices that support you in feeling your best?
I try to end my day with some stretching before I go to bed. I spend a lot of time on the road and at my computer so it helps relieve the tension that’s built up in my body throughout the day.