How Rhapsody Foods Began

Sjon Welters
Elysha Welters

At the heart of Rhapsody Natural Foods, you will find a family deeply rooted in the work of building a community in harmony with Nature.

We, Sjon and Elysha Welters, founders of Rhapsody Natural Foods, are both originally from the Netherlands, a country that instilled a deep appreciation for culture and community. But our entrepreneurial spirit was high and the United States called us. We dreamed of having a plot of land where we could build a homestead, create an income as part of a local agricultural economy, and be members of a community of like-minded people.

Fourteen years of wandering up and down the East Coast (with a foray into Arkansas) landed us a mile from Cabot village in Central Vermont. This is where we started growing our roots, raising our three children and founded Rhapsody. Even today our three children with their children live here supporting this vision in their own unique ways. It brings us joy to live on the Vermont land we love.

We opened a restaurant in downtown Montpelier after arriving in Vermont. The restaurant allowed us to explore our passion for fermentation and soon we were making tempeh from scratch. It was a hit with our customers, so we started creating more fermented foods. The restaurant became a test kitchen for many of Rhapsody’s products.

It became clear that our products needed their own place. So we left the restaurant business to devote more time to our homestead and growing product line. Sjon built a small production facility on our homestead and we began our full-time journey as food producers.

Rhapsody office with clay siding

We grow and process our own veggies, fruits, and nuts, build healthy soil; it’s all part of our daily life now. And we have an awesome supportive community around us!

On the larger scale of things, we are part of a growing movement to the land, decreasing our carbon footprint and dependency on outside factors we cannot control. We create plant-based foods in the hopes of making it easier and tastier for others to reduce their carbon emissions as well.

Rhapsody Natural Foods has expanded over the years and we continue to see the impact our fermented foods have around the world. In 2018 we were invited to Japan by TVTokyo, where our fermentation practices were featured nationwide by this Japanese network. The Japanese have been experts in fermented foods for centuries, so it was an honor to receive this recognition and experience a life-long dream. We want to share this same love of fermented foods here in America. Today, we ship tempeh, miso, natto, mochi, and koji to all 50 states. Please join us on this journey of creating one peaceful world.

We are a team of talented fermentation enthusiasts committed to natural, healthy lifestyles. We want the days and weeks of our lives to be dynamic, inspiring, and fulfilling. We divide up tasks in production, sales, marketing, distribution, and bookkeeping. Everything gets done with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. It’s our pleasure to support your plant-forward lifestyle and we’re grateful to have you on this journey.

“I love this mochi. I make little slices and fried them up in the pan. I add a little bit of maple of syrup. It’s mochi pancakes!”

“Buy it…eat it…I highly recommend it to everyone.”

“We eat Rhapsody tempeh every day. We love it!”

“I highly recommend Rhapsody Natural Foods’ natto. Being Japanese myself and growing up with natto, I know how good natto should taste.”

“I am blown away by the quality of your products. One of the most exciting moments of my day was digging into all of these foods, some of which I hadn’t had in twenty years since my exchange year in Japan. My friend recommended your products and I’ll recommend them to others!”

“We love your Nuka. Thank you so much for what you do.”

“This is the best Tempeh I’ve ever had. It’s soft and flavorful. Yes! I didn’t think I would say this about Tempeh ever. I will not be buying any other kind ever.”

“We love this tempeh! We aren’t usually big tempeh fans, but everyone in our family, from 12 to 60, loves this tempeh. We fry it up and serve hot for dinner, and if there’s any leftovers we put them in sandwiches and quesadillas for lunch the next day.”

“Such a good value for the best tempeh I’ve tried!”