#107 Kindred Cultures
“Thank you for being the VOICE of small business. It is such a great honor as a maker to be able to share the things that we make and to find people on the way that care and help tell our story. Also, a huge thank you to all the people who continue to support our business or who take a chance to try our product or share our product with someone in their family.”
Lyndsay, Founder at Kindred Cultures Water Kefir
Kindred Cultures was born out of a home kitchen as a way to help Lyndsay’s youngest son. As a baby, he was constantly in and out of doctors’ offices, dealing with a lot of discomfort. By the time he was one, he had significant eczema and asthma. All of the prescriptions and hospital visits didn’t improve his conditions. Things changed after Lyndsay`s naturopath suggested she “work the problem from inside out.”
Lyndsay began learning about probiotics and gut health, discovered Kefir and started making it at home. The Kefir immediately showed incredible results for her son!
Lyndsay(L): “Initially, I started looking into Kefir because it needed to be dairy-free for my son. It also needed to have quality ingredients and be low in sugar. I essentially started playing with this product in my kitchen as a way to get him consume it without a fight. He still drinks Kefir everyday and is our valued taste tester. He is my #1 fan!”
Kefir has become a self-care beverage for her family. In 2018, Lyndsay decided to sell her product in Farmers’ Markets with her children, just to see how it would go. The response was amazing! They participated in over 100 Farmers’ Markets in 2019, and took on 33 new stores in 2020 including Whole Foods in BC.
VOICE(V): “ Most people are more familiar with Kombucha. How are Kefir and Kombucha different?”
L: “Both are naturally fermented beverages from a scoby containing beneficial bacteria and yeast. However, there are 3 big differences between Kefir and Kombucha.
1) Starter Culture (Scoby) : Their starter cultures are different in microbial composition and serve different purposes in our body. Kefir focuses on microflora in the lower gut, helping to support the immune system. The latest research shows that it is also known to increase GABA, thus also supporting mental health. Kombucha has more digestive aid bacterias that are great for the upper gut. 2) Caffeine: Both water Kefir and dairy-based Kefir have no trace of caffeine at all. Whereas Kombucha, generally caffeinated tea is used to make it. 3) Flavour: Kefir has higher PH, making it softer in flavour and more palatable for a broader range of people. Kombucha has low PH and more acidity to taste, and it is also carbonated. When Kefir and Kombucha are combined, you have a wonderful holistic effect for gut health! I always recommend to try them both.”
V: “Tell us more about your Kefir!”
L: “Our Kefir is sugar water based, and we infuse it with organic fruits and botanicals that naturally give a vibrant colour to the drink. When I first started making Kefir, my children were so little that colours were a distinctly engaging part of the flavours. The bright colours would encourage my children to drink them, but it was also colour therapy for our family as we watched them sitting by the window during the fermenting process. As the company has grown, that bright “rainbow” of colour has been an integral part of how we think of ourselves, especially myself and my business partner, Anastasia. It reflects our personalities and a place where we try to send out something bright, cheerful and happy, and hopefully it ends up in somebody else’s kitchen with the exact same effect. One of the other important parts of our Kefir is using some therapeutic or superfood ingredient to each flavour. We currently offer five flavours paired with superfoods: Strawberry& Rosehip, Cranberry&Turmeric, Mango&Ginger, Activated Charcoal & Lemon and Spirulina & Lemon! Especially with our Spirulina infused Kefir, it was the very first Water Kefir that the National Research Council of Canada measured for probiotic activity. It has 4 Billion beneficial bacteria per serving and 17 strains of live probiotics! It is so healthy and delicious with a gorgeous Caribbean colour!”
V: “When is the best time to drink Kefir?”
L: “You can enjoy it anytime of the day! It always serves as a healthy refreshing beverage. Personally, I prefer to drink it in the morning or right before bed. Morning is a great way to kick start a day and start your body with some passive and active probiotics. In the evening, especially for people with chronic digestive issues, I recommend consuming a little bit at night to allow the probiotics to do some work while you rest and sleep. Also, Kefir is not just good for humans, but dogs can benefit from it too! Dogs love eating Kefir grains as they are good source of probiotics.”
V: “ How has your business grown and adapted in this pandemic time?”
L: “I am absolutely amazed at how well Farmers’ Markets have adapted and at how consumers have adapted. We decided not to go back to Farmers’ Markets this year, because it of the limited space and we think farmers should have that space. Over the course of 2020, we focused all of our effort on how to become a wholesale manufacturer instead. We launched in Whole Foods right before the lockdown in March, so we needed more education and training as we began to orient our product in bigger grocery landscapes.
When it comes to new business decisions, we always measure them based on 2 initiatives: sustainability and local economy. We ask ourselves if we are doing something kind and meaningful for the people and for the planet. If we can answer yes, then we move forward.”
V: “ You are an entrepreneur, a mother, and a wife. How do you manage your time everyday?”
L: “There is no way to do enough and there is no way to do it all. I just wake up everyday and do my best. For me, this company was born out of my family, so it is really important to me that my family doesn’t get stashed to the side as we are trying to do this. I set some work hours for myself, so that I can be home, pick up my kids and see them in the afternoon. My husband is also an entrepreneur, so he and I now have work dates in the evening, sitting next to each other and answering emails. He and I have a ritual now that we go and pick up our kids from school together. It is a challenging time right now, but it has also given us a great opportunity to look at our quality of life and to identify a few things that are tremendously important to us. The hardest part is that I still cannot see my family in Oregon!”
V: “ What would you be making in the kitchen if you are not making Kefir?”
L: “I rarely leave the kitchen when I am at home, because I have 3 boys ( 2 sons and a husband) and a 100lb dog! I lived in Italy for a couple of years so I cook a lot of Italian food. Italian and Indian cuisine are my two favorite comfort foods.”
Kindred Cultures is a rainbow of delicious probiotic beverages that everyone in the family can enjoy. When you open the bottle, you experience some vibrancy, some joy, some surprise and a whole lot of delight! “Kindred starts with kind” is how everything started.
Lyndsay`s Favorite: Strawberry Rosehip and Spirulina are a tie every time! For Strawberry Rosehip, she uses organic BC strawberries all year round, and it is her sons’ favorite. Spirulina is her morning go to before coffee. If you can’t decide on a flavour, grab green or pink!
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