Castlegar, BC

Happy Gut Water Kefir

Brewed in Castlegar BC, Happy Gut is an innovator in the world of ferments and probiotics!

Who is the brewmaster at Happy Gut?
Leeza Zurwick

Where is Happy Gut located?
Castlegar, BC

And what do you make?
We assemble Water Kefir DIY kits, we grow and package Water Kefir grains and we brew bottled 350 ml Water Kefir drinks.

What motivated you to start brewing? Tell us your story.
Being creative is what energizes me. My farm in the lush, green, West Kootenay area is my canvas and I have a deep passion for living off the earth and using food as medicine.

One day, my sister-in-law Ursula, shared some water kefir grains with me. Buying the right supplies in my small town was almost impossible. So off I went to neighboring towns, on a mission to get the right water kefir-making supplies. “This has got to be easier,” I thought to myself. I finally started brewing, but in all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing and I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t want to get botulism or E. coli! So, off to the internet I went, but it seemed like everyone had a different opinion. “This has got to be easier,” I thought to myself.

Eventually, through trial and error, I got better at making basic water kefir and I began to look for recipes and experiment with different flavours. I started looking forward to drinking my latest concoctions while I made dinner each night. My bloating had significantly decreased and people kept telling me that I was looking really good. The only thing I had changed was that I was drinking water kefir on a daily basis. Watching the news one night, I saw that the American Health Association announced that there was finally scientific proof that gut health and brain health are connected and that probiotics are beneficial to that relationship. That was the moment Happy Gut was born.

It became my mission to teach people about fermentation and to make water kefir accessible to everyone. I began intensely studying the effects of probiotics and gut health. I learned that every different fermented product (water kefir, kombucha, saurkraut, yogurt, milk kefir, tempeh, miso etc. ) carries different strains of LIVE bacteria that populate our guts and help build strong immune systems and we need to eat all of them.

My family worked hard to install a certified kitchen into our home — the ‘Grow Op’, as we call it. I started growing water kefir grains on a large scale and they began to multiply profusely. I had struck the perfect combination of fresh, mineral rich water and mixed organic sugars to achieve an explosion of beautiful, plump, water kefir grains. The development of the kit, packaging and website began. I was thoroughly enjoying the journey. Giving back is imperative for my company. I joined forces with the We Work! program to employ people with disabilities. 3 lovely girls began working at Happy Gut and are now an integral part of the team.

My mantra is, “From Humble Beginnings…” and I refer to it whenever challenges arise. Happy Gut is on a mission to teach you how to bring back radiance and energy to your life by providing a simple way to add naturally fermented products to your daily routine. I look forward to adding beauty, vitality and nourishment to your everyday life.

Now let’s get brewing!

Wow, sounds like quite the journey!  I love brewing water kefir at home with my Happy Gut kit. It’s become a favourite weekend activity. What are some of your greatest joys?
My greatest joy is when people stop me in town or send me a message and tell me about their own success stories since they began drinking water kefir. It’s so gratifying to know that something that made a difference in my life is making a difference in others’.

The Kootenays are so lucky to have you and your unique product. What are some of your greatest challenges?
One of my challenges is that every single water kefir grain/culture that I sell has to be grown. There are no other water kefir wholesalers in Canada. I have to be very careful and methodical so that I don’t over-extend my sales capacity. Since I’m the only company in Canada that is selling to stores and there is a huge need, I have to be very cognizant of Happy Gut’s growth. That said, I’ve been told by people in the health industry that the contracts that I’ve solidified in the last 2 months and the press that I have received are all unprecedented to have achieved so quickly. I have been warned to hold on, that it’s going to be a wild ride. Bring it on!

What is your vision for your business?
I started my company from humble beginnings and will take each day one step at a time. I am focusing on keeping one foot in front of the other since there are so many facets of growth that I can explore. The world of fermentation and probiotics is just beginning to hit mainstream and people are so eager to learn more about it and to try doing it themselves. Fermentation is set to grow by 800% in the next 5 years, so the growth ride that I am in for may be immense! I am working closely with a Columbia Basin Business Advisor and feel very lucky to be part of a free business coaching program. The resources that the program provides to my company are unprecedented! I can’t thank them enough!

So how do you actually make water kefir?
It’s really easy with the Happy Gut DIY kit and my easy-to-follow YouTube videos. Some videos are below, and I welcome members to subscribe to my You Tube channel and watch me make various water kefir recipes. I am in the process of uploading over 30 inspiring water kefir videos. I also encourage people to sign up for my Weekly Blog about brewing tips, health tips and recipes.

DoodleBug Chocolates Handcrafted in Thrums, BC, just 30 km from Nelson, DoodleBug Chocolates are ...
Its Just Sope Demo Dec 2019.jpg
Castlegar, BC 4.54 km
Castlegar, BC 8.86 km
CC’s Sushi Don & Carol Carlgren of CC’s Sushi are based in Castlegar. They work h...
Tarrys, BC 10.85 km
Hawthorn Creek Farm Louisa and Bill Chapman are the farmers at Hawthorn Creek Farm. They speciali...
Glade, BC 13.05 km
Ariah’s Edibles Ariah’s Edibles is a family business in beautiful Glade BC. Mother and son ...
Glade Organics Ross and Mira are new to the world of farming, but it seems like they’re all...
Krestova, BC 17.38 km
Linden Lane Farms Linden Lane Farms in Krestova makes it easier to grow great plants and eat amaz...
Crescent Valley, BC 18.02 km
Mountain Sky Raynald Losier and Nina George have been making handcrafted and environmentally cons...
South Slocan, BC 19.99 km
What is your company name?  Kootenay Kombucha What is your name? Eric Matton Where are ...
Fruitvale, BC 23.09 km
Earthy Organics This farm is all about organics! Not only do they grow delicious True Local produ...
Chuckleberry Community Farm Who is the farmer at Chuckleberry Community Farm? Jon Scott. What do ...
Slocan Park, BC 24.89 km
Elk Root Conservation Farm Elk Root Conservation Farm and BDirty Co. are passionate about our “sw...
Vallican, BC 25.05 km
BDirty Co. BDirty Co. deodorant is a 100% natural raw honey cream deodorant handmade in Vallican,...
Wild Onion Nutburgers These burgers are a Kootenay vegetarian’s dream-come-true. They’...
Rossland, BC 26.91 km
Alkəmē Todd and Melinda, the founders of Alkəmē (formerly Purist Pantry) are dedicated to creatin...
Rossland, BC 27.06 km
 Seven Summits Coffee Co. Thomas Barrie is passionate about a good cup of coffee. But that doesn&...
Salmo, BC 27.17 km
Cinderella’s Organic Housekeeping Cinderella’s cleaning products are locally-made, al...
Salmo, BC 27.17 km
Red Lion Organic Farms Red Lion Organic Farms is a fourth generation, certified organic, Doukhobo...
Salmo, BC 27.17 km
Wild Creek Naturals Wild Creek Naturals’ Marseille’s Remedy was originally made on Salt Spring Is...
Salmo, BC 27.17 km
Salmo, BC 27.19 km
Counter Cultured Foods Husband and wife team, Greg and Katherine, craft Counter Cultured Foods in...
Salmo, BC 27.22 km
Salix and Sedge Salix and Sedge is a beautiful certified organic farm nestled in the Salmo Valley...
Passmore, BC 27.56 km
Tulaberry Farm Judi Morton keeps busy running this Passmore farm. With vegetables and berries to ...
Salmo, BC 27.65 km
B-Nourished Brandie-Lynn Disher is the maker at B-Nourished, a True Local company specializing in...
Salmo, BC 29.03 km
Meadowbrook Farm & Kootenay Sprouts Meadowbrook has been in operation for almost 20 years. It...
Jen Gawne of Wild Peach Preserves makes a truly unique line of True Local products – bone broth (...
Forrest Farm Amanda and Ewan Forrest are the caring stewards of Forrest Farm in Salmo BC. They ra...
Winlaw, BC 29.76 km
Cripple Crow Ranch Chicken Farmer Tamara Smith raises certified organic pastured poultry with a b...
Nelson, BC 32.51 km
Epiphany Cakes Her Epiphany Cakes are edible art – artfully beautiful and positively scrump...
Uphill Bakery - AGM Giftbasket 03 Copy.jpg
Nelson, BC 32.56 km
Jennifer Perpick, The Uphill Baker, has worked as a culinary chef for 25 years, with experience s...
Kootenay Bakery Café Co-op The Kootenay Bakery Café Co-op is an amazing worker-owned cooperative ...
Winlaw, BC 32.65 km
Hummingbird Farm Lana and Brad Braun of Hummingbird Farm grow their certified organic flowers, fr...
Nelson, BC 32.73 km
Oso Negro Fine Coffee Oso Negro Fine Coffee is a Nelson institution and our close relationship wi...
Nelson, BC 32.79 km
Ancestar Teas Francois and Imaji lovingly blend Ancestar Teas right here in Nelson. Founder Simon...
Nelson, BC 32.79 km
Antoinette’s Dips Handcrafted and highly addictive! The reputation and popularity of Antoin...
Blue Lotus Ethnobotanicals Blue Lotus Ethnobotanicals makes high-quality, small-batch herbal medi...
Showing 1 - 40 of 101 results