Lyndsay Scott, CEO-Founder of Kindred Cultures Inc, has created a product so unique, it’s the only one of its kind in the world. “As far as I know, we’re the only manufacturer on the planet that makes the water kefir without carbonization.”
Kefir, a fermented beverage made with a live SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria), is traditionally milk-based. In recent years, the popularity of fermented beverages has grown in tandem with growing demand for plant-based alternatives, and the consumer demand for water kefir has thus increased. Kefir is typically double fermented for carbonation. However, Lyndsay has developed a natural fermentation method that avoids carbonating and creates an innovative still beverage packed with naturally occurring probiotics.
Yet despite this incredible innovation, Lyndsay describes herself as an “an accidental entrepreneur” because her business, which started in the family kitchen as an experiment in making water kefir at home, was initially just part of the quest to help her toddler son who had been suffering with severe eczema every winter. The improvement in her son’s health was so rapid and dramatic, she decided she wanted to help others as well.
“We went from a baby who had eczema cheeks every winter, to no problems. We were able to identify which food allergies were causing the inflammation because the probiotics helped us with his digestive system.”
Lyndsay has spent the last two years in R&D, working with University of British Columbia’s science department and the National Research Council. To describe all of her intense research and hard work as ‘paying off’ would be an understatement.
“Our compound annual growth rate is 177% in the last two years. Kindred Culture creates a rainbow of delicious probiotic rich water kefir everyone in the family can enjoy. We have had conversations with people who have cried about what a difference our product has made in improving their health.”
When asked about lessons learned along the way, Lyndsay laughs and says, “We’re still in the midst of those!” then goes on to share what she describes as the greatest lesson learned to date, and that is to never underestimate the power of a business idea.
“You know, we have traditionally been underfunded, which is common among female entrepreneurs. We love to bootstrap and do it ourselves, but I think that is something that actually hinders our progress because we’re constantly in this frugal penny-pinching mode.”
Lyndsay adds that one of the key takeaways for her has also been how important it is not to be “too humble about having a dynamic idea, and being willing to go out and say you know this really is a great concept, and we know we can execute it if we have the resources that we need.”
Being willing to recognize and acknowledge the need for a network of resources has also been a critical key to her company’s success.
“We need people who know more than we do about the various areas of the business as we’re growing into it. We needed a food science connection so we had strong business acumen in the kitchen. We needed financial advising, and some serious mentors to help guide us through the decision-making in those early networking twelve months. Knowing the people that are working around you, knowing what people are working on and who they are working with and how can we collaborate and participate in each other’s growth, are so important. And I think that to be able to make those industry connections, our ability to problem solve was incredibly improved because we had so many people to sound our ideas to, or even just ask around about pricing to make sure we were getting a good deal when we did something.”
In the end, Lyndsay obviously got most of it ‘right,’ as her business has only continued to expand.
“We took a different route to create a product, we took that really natural route and then when we realized what we had inadvertently made was actually really kind of revolutionary, I think that’s the greatest differentiator that sets us apart from everyone else in the market and everything else that’s been available.”