We make kefir. Kefir? Yes, Happy Flora Coconut Kefir
Kefir is a fermented food and they are everywhere right now - kefir is even on The Archers!
It's a fermented drink made by adding kefir 'grains' - yeast cultures - to milk, usually dairy, but coconut in our case - and waiting for it to ferment. There's a good reason for its current popularity, it really does put good bacteria in your gut. Lots of the commercial probiotic drinks really don't have much effect at all, and they're often sugary and expensive. Kefir is a more natural way to get a properly effective probiotic boost. It is recognised as effective for inflammatory and auto-immune conditions by many nutritionists.
We started making Happy Flora Kefir nearly a year ago and we sell it to lots of happy people in our corner of the West Country. We sell at markets and meet lots of people who are really knowledgeable about kefir - many make their own. They like ours because we make it taste really good without adding sugar and artificial flavourings. They know it can make their guts happy. We've noticed a difference since we started taking a shot every day, our happy customers have noticed a difference and we want to spread the love.
Why do we need to make more?
What we didn't really reckon with, was the number of people who we could provide with kefir to help them with serious conditions. Almost as soon as we started selling, we started meeting people who have conditions relating to inflammation and the immune system. We have been learning lots about IBS, Crohn's Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Multiple Sclerosis and the links with gut function in all these conditions. We take kefir to the Wessex Multiple Sclerosis Centre each week, offering it at a special rate so anyone who wants it can have it. The folk who take it are very positive about the results. We would really like to expand to reach more groups like this - there are other MS Centres and groups like this locally and further afield. We are also in touch with several Nutritionists who want to recommend kefir to their clients.
What we need to make it happen
We make 100 - 150 jars of kefir a week at the moment, but we get loads of requests for it that we can't meet. We' d like to increase production and we can do it! As you can see in our video, our kefir really is very 'hand made' and so scaling up production will require a bit more spending than we have funds for right now. In order to meet demand, we need four things:
- to do further tests on the nutritional and bacterial content of our kefir. We will be able to give more specific information about its probiotic content and health benefits
- to buy more fridges to keep our kefir cool before we deliver it. We just haven't enough space!
- to buy a commercial dishwasher to clean and sterilise our equipment more quickly. Conventional dishwashers are slow......
- to buy a desktop labelling machine. It takes ages by hand - and they're usually a little bit wonky!
We'll be looking for good second hand equipment where we can get it - no need for new when there's used kit out there that'll do the job.
If you can't yet get hold of our kefir, we're working on getting it to you asap. In the meantime do get yourself some fermented goodness in some form!
If you are able to help us ferment our revolution, thank you - lots of guts will be very grateful!