• Naboru Muramoto

    Naboru Muramoto (1920-1995)

    Macrobiotic healer and teacher, acupuncturist, herbalist, and our teacher in the art of making miso. (photo from early 1980’s)

    Sensei Muramoto was a gentle man, “hands on” with food making, steeped in the lore of oriental medicine, always investigating home remedies and the use of food as medicine. His kitchen was his laboratory, and the cot in his study was often occupied with one person or another who came for healing.

    He was the author of the popular manual Healing Ourselves, A Book to Serve as Companion in Time of Illness and Health, compiled from his lectures by Michel Abehsera and published by Avon Books in 1973. In 1988, he wrote Natural Immunity: Insights on Diet and AIDS. (Both books are out of print. See abebooks.com)

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  • The Elwell Family

    The Elwell family in 1984: Christian, Gaella, Anni, and Isaiah.

  • Christian Elwell

    First miso maker of South River Miso Company. (photo from early 1980’s)

    Christian brought the inaka or farmhouse tradition of miso making, which had all but disappeared in Japan, to the United States by incorporating traditional wood-fired cooking and foot treading into the miso production process in Conway.

  • What a beautiful sound: O-hi-o Mee-so

    Our company started as the Ohio Miso Company, founded by Thom Leonard and Richard Kluding in Monroeville, Ohio. This was the first company to make organic miso in North America. They began production on March 13, 1979.

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  • The Bill of Sale

    On June 12, 1980, we purchased The Ohio Miso Company and moved it to South River Farm in Conway, Massachusetts. We purchased all the basic equipment, including 10 small vats and 13 tons of miso, more or less.

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  • So began South River Miso Company

    We engaged Jerry Sawma, a local timber frame builder, to build the miso shop at South River Farm.

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  • South River Miso Company

    The main production building soon after construction in 1982.

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  • South River Miso Company

    The original slate sign, given as a gift to Christian by his brother Will Elwell.

  • South River Miso Company

    The production room, circa 1982. We began making miso in Conway in 1981. We never used anything but organic ingredients.

  • Cleaning barrels

    Originally, much of our miso was aged in clean recycled whiskey barrels.

  • Early spiral logo and harvesting koji

    The spiral logo was drawn by Christian,
    The calligraphy by Jim Sadler ,
    The drawing of the koji harvester by Gaella Elwell,
    The motto, "Wisely given, miso gives its own wisdom", was the inspiration of Anna Bond.

  • Cooking at home

    This drawing by Gaella Elwell was used in many of our early brochures and recipe booklets.

  • Another early logo

    Original drawing by Gaella Elwell and final design by Jim Sadler , used on our early packaging.

Be in touch!
South River Miso Company
888 Shelburne Falls Road
Conway, MA 01341
PH: 413.369.4057
FX: 413.369.4299

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