The Good Seed Kefir Logo

Our story

Hello there, fellow interwebs hitchhiker! We are …

Adrian Soon

Maker & Tinkerer

When I was working as a business consultant in the telco industry, my manager asked me at the annual review, “Adrian, what would you do if money weren’t an issue?”.

I’ve always enjoyed playing tennis. So I would usually say health and fitness. Who knew, 3 years later, I’d return to Australia and became a tennis coach. I’d also have a certification in Nutrition.

Despite an active lifestyle, Ivy and I were struggling with strange health concerns. When looking for solutions we learn about kefir. “Could this drink heal us?”, I wondered. Seeing promising results in our own experience drove us to create The Good Seed Kefir.

“In case you’re wondering; yes, we’re a married couple!”

Ivy Ong

Business brain

I trained to be a veterinary technician. Yep! I like animals. But I had this itch to start a business. So, I built and ran a contemporary clothing store in New Zealand for a few years.

You know how it feels when you find your true calling? Building a business felt like that.

But after moving to Australia I wanted something more. Like having a business with purpose. Something that resonated with my active lifestyle. You know, the kind that makes the world a better place. So I went looking for ideas …

How it all came about. True story!

99 Problems

Okay 99 is probably an exaggeration. We’re not going to wash our dirty laundry in public.

Ivy had psoriasis ever since she was a child. Getting it diagnosed was a challenge to start with. Once diagnosed, the doc said its an autoimmune disease. There was no cure for it.

During his 6-year overseas work stint Adrian’s lifestyle led to a more painful problem. Haemorrhoids. The ganglion cyst he developed when he was coaching tennis raised even more alarm bells.

Something wasn’t right!

Surprising Discovery

Well, since modern medicine wasn’t of much help we turned to the interwebs. Yeah, we’re interwebs hitchhikers like you too.

What we learned about our problems surprised us. Did you know over 70% of our health problems start in our gut? We didn’t know either.

It turns out our gut has this microbiome (good bacteria) that is quite sensitive to what we eat. Turns out, the food we eat can upset these bacteria and make them angry like the HULK. Nobody likes the hulk when he’s angry.

An Ancient Cure

Ivy’s the sciencey kinds so she reads a lot of science papers about how to fix our guts.

She discovers Kefir, an old old drink. Kefir is traditionally made by fermenting milk. It’s known to have 10x more good bacteria than yoghurt. It was used for “gut reset” in old times.

But Adrian can’t have milk. He’s lactose intolerant.

So, we ended up making water kefir. After 4 months of having it Ivy’s psoriasis became manageable. Adrian was was no longer troubled by haemorrhoids or the ganglion cyst.

th good seed kefir van

Humble Beginnings

The year is 2017.

When everyone retires home, we start our production after-hours. We make batches of kefir out of a shared kitchen at a cafe in Camberwell. We’re just starting so we only have 3 flavours.

Ivy sticks the labels. Adrian carefully fills each bottle with the freshly brewed kefir.

We drive around in our little Honda Jazz with several cool boxes to deliver door-to-door.

We’re knackered by the end of every production run.

Small Batches

We keep running out of stock. We can hardly keep up with production. We might need a new production facility. So we open Google Maps and research potential areas within a 30km radius of the CBD.

It doesn’t take us long before we find the perfect site. It’s an old butcher shop in the old fishing town of Hastings.

We decide to upgrade our equipment as we go along. The first thing we get is a bottle capper. It saves our fingers from stress injuries. We used to hand-tighten hundreds of bottle caps. The next piece of equipment we get is a hand-operated labeller. It increases our labelling capacity significantly!

At the Market

Home deliveries are good. But delivering to more than 50 customers soon becomes impossible. They’re all spread too far apart. We’re spending over 8 hours doing deliveries. We can’t keep up with home deliveries.

So, we decide to meet people where they go shopping for provisions. We set up a stall at farmer’s markets across Victoria.

We sell out at every market. W definitely need more product to keep everyone happy. We need a bigger fermentation tank. A faster production line will be god-sent.

Factory 2.0

At the farmer’s markets, we’re approached by retailers and health food stores. They want to stock our sparkling water kefir. We’re delighted. We can finally distribute our products across Australia.

We also get store recommendations from our regulars. They’ve been singing praises of our water kefir to their local store. They ask store owners to stock our products for their convenience.

Wow! Right? But wait, how are we going to make so much water kefir?

So, in 2019, we move into a bigger, better purpose-built factory to keep up with demand. By now we’ve also introduced new product categories. Like the dairy-free kefir Nice Pops and our signature Vegan Kimchi. Onwards and upwards!

What’s Next?

We think fermented products aren’t just the next food trend. They’ve been part of local cuisines around the world for a long time. Now that we know how good they can be for you, we’ll keep finding new ways to make ferments more accessible for you.

We’ve already expanded our product lines to include probiotic ice pops, probiotic shots and kimchi.

We’re working on new products as you read this. Join our mailing list to be the first to know about new product releases.????

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