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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Kerry Kefir can help people like me who have suffered with their digestive health’

That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, in conversation with Mary-Thea Brosnan, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, of Kerry Kefir, in the second of a two-part interview.

In this post, she explains how she previously worked as an optometrist for over a decade after qualifying and left the industry to pursue physics which led to a career in technology consulting with a multinational company.

Then, she returned to optometry part-time while setting up her latest venture, Kerry Kefir, a healthy, fermented food drinkable yoghurt, which boosts immune systems, aids in digestive issues, and improves bone health, which sprung from her own battle with IBS.

“40% of adults suffer from some form of gastrointestinal disorder i.e., bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, constipation, digestive upset, ulcers etc.

In Ireland, this equates to around 1.5 million people. High-sugar diets, processed foods and stress all have a major impact on our digestive health and therefore our overall health.

Processed foods and foods high in sugar cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation leads to ill health and inflammatory conditions e.g., diabetes, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.

I am of the view that the food industry is deliberately misleading the consumer through clever marketing and big budgets.

Processed foods need to be called out on the labelling, so the customer can make an informed decision.

Medication is often a necessity. But prevention is always better than cure.

Kerry Kefir

We need to educate people on how to look after their health. It needs to be taught in school. Our food system needs to change. The government need to play a bigger role in this.

Here at Kerry Kefir, we are doing our best to contribute by creating a natural product that has a positive influence on the health of those that consume it.

You can be confident that if you choose Kerry Kefir as your daily natural probiotic of choice, that you are getting a quality product made by people who are passionate about improving our health.

Kerry Kefir is a premium natural milk probiotic made by using living organisms and milk is sourced from the local co-op, Lee Strand, in Tralee.

Benefits of kefir

Kerry Kefir offers numerous benefits to the overall health of our customers.

Consuming Kerry Kefir daily will aid digestion and support the immune system. The diverse range of enzymes present in Kerry Kefir can offer relief from digestive ailments such as IBS, bloating, acid reflux, stomach cramps, indigestion, constipation etc.

The presence of these enzymes in the gut will help break down food better thereby improving the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to ensure our customers gain the greatest benefit from the foods they eat.

Studies show that having a more diverse set of healthy bacteria in the gut contributes positively to overall health. Kerry Kefir can provide up to 30 different strains of probiotic bacteria, which is more than any other probiotic on the market.

Because the kefir grains are living organisms, they need to be protected at all times to ensure their survival and to prevent contamination.

Glass vessels are required for fermentation and storage and metal is not recommended.

The kefir grains can be reused over and over again – they do not dissolve in the milk. Therefore, they need to be manually removed from the milk after fermentation.

The living organisms will continue to grow and thrive as long as they are cared for. The kefir grains I use today for my production all came from my very first kefir grain back in 2017.

Because of our process for making kefir, our consumers are getting authentic, traditional, handmade kefir as it was originally made all those 2000 years ago.

Our target customer base includes adults in Ireland who:

  • Suffer with digestive issues;
  • Are looking for something natural to aid their gut health, without causing additional stress;
  • Are health conscious;
  • Tend to choose natural products;
  • Willing to spend their hard-earned money on their health.

Catherina Cunnane, That's Farming, talks to Mary-Thea Brosnan, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, of Kerry Kefir, about the benefits of her product.


I believe fully in the power of Kerry Kefir. It requires a lot of manual work to make Kerry Kefir.

But the feedback from our customers, and the messages telling us how much we have changed their gut health and their lives, is what keeps us motivated.

We want to help people feel better, every day. Our customers are loyal, and they purchase our product time and time again.

They also advocate for Kerry Kefir to their friends and family, and we are so grateful to them for their continued support.

Price: Buy Kerry Kefir

We sell our kefir in litre glass bottles, which contain 10 servings. It retails at €10 per bottle, with an additional charge for delivery online.

Kerry-based customers can purchase it from any of the 9 SuperValu stores in Kerry and some independent retailers also.

Outside of Kerry, the best way to purchase it is through our online platform for delivery direct to your door.

Alternatively, if you have a health shop near you; you can ask the shop to order Kerry Kefir in for you through our distributor.

We are an award-winning product and scooped Best Start-Up and won gold in our category at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards in 2020. We won Woman in Food Production at the Connect Kerry Women in Business Awards in 2022 and in 2022, we made it to the finals of the National Start-Up Awards.

More recently, this year, we received an honourable mention at the finals of The National Dairy Awards.

Planning for the future

We are currently investing in a commercial custom-made bottle washer which will allow us to promote a circular economy by encouraging customers to return their empty glass bottles to us so they can be reused.

This will be rolled out through our online platform, so we can communicate directly with customers that order our kefir directly to their door.

The packaging we use for our online deliveries can all be returned and reused so that nothing is wasted, so that is the next big project we are working on.

In 5 years’ time, we see ourselves having built our own custom-made facility here in Castleisland.

We will have grown our team, and we will be supplying to SuperValu retail stores and premium independent retailers such as Avoca and Donnybrook Fair nationwide.

We will have developed our brand recognition through effective marketing, and our online platform will continue to grow where we educate the public on gut health, and how to eat natural wholesome foods.


If you had said six years ago that I would be living in Kerry, with my own business, I would never have believed you.

I never thought I would leave Dublin. I never even considered that I would have my own business let alone create my own brand and product.

Also, I am grateful to be able to make this product, and for it to actually change people’s lives is extraordinary.

I am also so thankful to my parents for allowing me to take over their yard, and their sheds, and impose on their space, but they get a free supply of Kerry Kefir, so I think we can call it even.

Honestly, I get so much support and encouragement from those around me, and my customers. I am very lucky. And I hope I can continue to produce this incredible product.

I have a clear vision for my business. I know my product can help many people who, like me, have suffered for years with their digestive health.

Furthermore, I know my product will help others achieve good gut health the natural way. I would love to reach as many people as possible who need Kerry Kefir in their lives.”

To share your story with, email – [email protected]

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