About Us

Counter Culture is operated by four friends who share a passion for organic farming and fermented foods—Rob Barreca, Daniel Leas, Laarni Gedo, and Gabe Sachter-Smith. Rob is an ex-tech guy who is a graduate of GoFarm Hawai‘i  and has been involved with urban agricultural, fermented food production, and brainstorming how tech can help farmers and the food system. Daniel is a jack-of-all-trades with a background in carpentry, ranching, building, farming, and creating fermented foods including cured meats. Laarni is the accounting, marketing, and sales wiz-kid who spreads the Counter Culture flavor crystals out into the world for you to enjoy! Gabe a.k.a. Banana Man is a banana expert; kimchi, wine, and tempeh fermenter; farmer; and master of enthusiasm.

We are also blessed to have amazing advisors to help guide us along the way. The most important advisor being Jay Bost who is currently the Farm Coach at GoFarm Hawai‘i  as well as an accomplished commercial organic farmer, restaurateur, cottage food producer, and fermentation workshop instructor.

Rob Barreca

In 1998, Rob Barreca began his professional career as a web designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2012, he left his career in web application development to focus on increasing local food consumption in Hawai‘i. Read more about Rob →

Daniel Leas

Before moving to Hawai‘i in 2015, Daniel Leas spent most of his life in quiet solitude amidst a cheddar cheese forest on the slopes of a maple syrup volcano in Central Vermont. Both there and in Northern California, he honed his skills of carpentry, building, ranching, farming, fermenting vegetables and curing meats of all kinds. Read more about Daniel →

Laarni Gedo

If you’ve read one of our Instagram posts and thought either “hey, that was clever” or “what a nice photo,” then Laarni Gedo is definitely the one who posted it. Laarni is in charge of spreading the word about Counter Culture news, recipes, produce, fermented foods, and other provisions. Read more about Laarni →

Gabriel Sachter-Smith

Gabriel Sachter-Smith grew up in the mountains of Colorado where he began studying bananas at the age of 13. Continuing his informal studies throughout high school, he moved to Hawaii in 2007 to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he earned his BS in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences in 2011, and his MS in 2015. Read more about Gabe →

Jay Bost (Advisor)

A native of Oklahoma, Jay Bost, fell in love at an early age with food, farming, and the tropics. He has degrees from Prescott College in Agroecology and the University of Florida in Interdisciplinary Ecology. In addition to experience working on market vegetable farms, he has worked on a number of vegetable seed farms and nurseries. Read more about Jay →