Natasha Bowes is a former Russian figure skating champion, who set up Bio-tiful, bringing cultured milk drink Kefir (which she was brought up on) to the UK. Bio-tiful products are made at Organic Riverford Farm in Dorset and sold nationwide, including in Harrods.
We tried out the range of drinks and were really impressed – they taste super light and refreshing, not like you’d expect fermented milk products to taste, and can be drunk straight, poured on cereal, blended, made into dip – or even chocolate pots.
We grabbed ten mins with Natasha to find out more about her brand, which despite not winning over the Dragon’s Den has won her numerous awards and critical acclaim.
SM: Where do we feature in your busy day today?
Natasha Bowes: In the afternoon, between a raw vegetable lunch and a sales meeting!
SM: From skater to finance to dairy, you’ve certainly had a varied career! What is it that motivates you?
Natasha Bowes: Learning and experiencing new things, grasping the essence of a business / job and excelling at it – that’s what I really enjoy.
SM: Your drinks can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, which do you prefer and how do you drink them?
Natasha Bowes: My favourite is the original Kefir and I love it first thing in the morning – on its own or in a green smoothie. If I am peckish, the best mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack for me is definitely Baked Milk Kefir – it fills me up with goodness and leaves me feeling light, just perfect!
SM: What would your advice be on getting children to drink them?
Natasha Bowes: Start out with the Kefir Smoothies – we had kids in mind when we created them, as they are a little naturally sweeter due to the fruit, yet have all the goodness that Kefir gives your digestion and immunity. I lived on Kefir in my childhood, as I was mildly lactose intolerant and Kefir is naturally low in lactose and the easiest food to digest.
SM: What are the benefits over – for example – Yakult? Or bio yoghurt?
Natasha Bowes: Kefir is as natural and light as a dairy product gets, and its authentic, 2,000-year-old culture has about 40 different types of beneficial bacteria plus beneficial yeasts (for comparison a typical yoghurt would have only a couple of different bacteria strains). It is the most probiotic of all the natural foods, and naturally packed with a number of essential vitamins and minerals, with an exceptional list of health benefits resulting from that.
SM: What has been your biggest challenge, running the business?
Natasha Bowes: Sensibly balancing work and personal life.
SM: And your proudest moment?
Natasha Bowes: Every award and stockist win is a very positive and proud moment – for the whole team!
SM: What’s next for the brand?
Natasha Bowes: Our Kefir being easily available to everybody in any part of the country!
SM: And finally (we had to ask) do you still ice skate?
Natasha Bowes: Occasionally, and with pleasure!
Find out more at: biotifuldairy.com