Anna writes about the Welsh company selling consumables and skincare containing kefir, a probiotic cultivated from goat’s milk.

By now, most of us will have read an article, heard a news story or watched a documentary about the importance of our human microbiome. As unique as our fingerprint, inside our gut, and made up of trillions of bacteria, scientists stress the importance of this natural ecosystem because it influences every area of our health. Skin, digestion, sleep and bone formation rely on our microbiome. Energy levels, mood, allergies and immune system are all determined by it.

Chuckling Goat was launched in 2012 from a small farm in South Wales. It sells consumables and skincare containing kefir, a probiotic cultivated from goat’s milk.

When her husband suffered a life-threatening infection, Shann Nix Jones sat at her farmhouse table to come up with a remedy that saw him cured.

In early 2014, Rich, a harp maker, was admitted to hospital for an operation after suffering for seven years with ulcerativecolitis. When he came out, they had removed his large intestine, but he had also caught the MRSA superbug.

The farm already had goats, and the couple had previously experimented with kefir and goat’s milk remedies. Resistant to traditional antibiotics, the ten-inch scar across his stomach had become infected, and while Rich rested at the couple’s 25-acre farm in Ceredigion, Shann planned how to fight the bug with the fermented drink made from raw goat’s milk that had previously helped her son Benji overcome a nasty bronchial infection.

Creating her own blend of essential oils with antiviral and antibacterial properties, Shann began to administer the skin lotion and kefir drink to Rich three times a day. Slowly, he began to get stronger and within three weeks was back on his tractor.

Chuckling Goat now has 300,000 customers in 61 countries. Everything, from making the products to bottling, labelling and despatch, is carried out on the farm, where they have 40 goats tended to by 22 employees.

The business has tried selling through established retailers, such as Fortnum & Mason in London, but the couple thought that customers required more specialist advice so almost all of Chuckling Goat’s sales come from the online shop. It now has an annual turnover of £4 million.

As well as using kefir to treat colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gut-related illnesses, Shann discovered that her range of kefir and herbal soaps and lotions worked on skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Shann has written books about the restorative powers of kefir and the company also sell The Microbiome Test kit which will shed light on the presence of any pathogen infections, as well as demonstrating the overall health of your gut ecosystem and provide suggestions for improvments.

The next challenge? Shann wants to crack the market for medical herbs and is interested in herb teas that help the rehabilitation process.

By Anna Bance
March 2021

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Anna Bance

Anna is the co-founder of Girls Meets Dress and a contributing editor to the GWG. She expertly guides us round the most covetable online fashion.