Meet the Maker: K4 Cultured Foods

K4 Cultured Foods

K4 Cultured Foods are artisanal craft-brewers of premium Green Tea Kombucha and Probiotic Cultured Foods.  K4 is the creation of Kaye van der Straten and Freddy Loov, who have built a unique family business in the beautiful Bay of Islands. They craft-brew beautiful, live, probiotic beverages and wellness foods that are high quality and delicious. With a strong background in science, K4 partnered with Massey University and are currently undertaking the first of many planned postgraduate research projects that focus on the wellness applications of K4 products.

Our products were born from necessity. Kaye was once working offshore as a marine scientist, where she met her partner, Ships Captain Freddy. The happy story ensued; they fell in love and started a family. But, after becoming pregnant, Kaye suddenly became chronically unwell and found herself on a challenging health journey.

After years of searching for answers, Kaye and Freddy discovered a new way to eat and live to recreate wellness. Quickly, Kaye discovered that eating live, cultured foods were an integral part of turning her health around (read the full story at Now Kaye’s really well, and much of her health condition is in remission.

Kaye and Freddy have since developed the range of K4 Cultured Foods and Kombucha that their family eats daily. These products are now on the market for everyone to taste and enjoy their own daily health and wellness. The K4 products are available online, at the Packhouse Markets, and at select outlets in Northland and Auckland. They have recently opened the doors of their Bay of Islands craft-brewery to the public.

All K4 products are raw, live and unpasteurised, and are teeming with healthy, live probiotics. Key ingredients are selected from functional wellness foods that are scientifically proven to have a positive impact on health. All K4 products are allergen-free and are created from the highest quality organic or spray-free ingredients. We then use traditional fermentation practices to create modern products. The K4 Cultured Foods range is 100 per cent unique, with nothing else like them available on the market today.

K4 Kombucha: K4 Kombucha is brewed from green tea, which creates a light, refreshing Kombucha that is clear and crisp.  K4 Kombucha is packaged in beautiful glass bottles with a crown seal, to create a delicious, wellness, treat beverage.  It provides an excellent alternative to alcohol, juice or soft drink.  K4 Kombucha is brewed in three herbal flavours:

Rosehip & Hibiscus: A sparkly and sharp little number. Bright acidic notes from Vitamin C-rich Rosehips and Hibiscus. A favourite with Kombucha aficionados and those with a penchant for tart taste.

Apple & Elderflower: Soft and smooth. Delicate apple is paired with honey-like elderflower and lovely little bubbles. The easy-going K4 flavour that is a pleaser for every crowd.

Mint & CamomileCrisp, refreshing and naturally effervescent. Invigorating mint, with just a touch of earthy camomile. Seriously cider-esque – this is the grown-up’s Kombucha.

K4 Cultured Turmeric Paste: K​4 Cultured Turmeric Paste is vibrant, fragrant and gorgeous on the palate. Golden turmeric root and black peppercorns are cultured with live ​Lacto-probiotics to create a sensational, richly flavoured paste. Raw turmeric root is a rich source of anti-inflammatory curcumin; black peppercorns contain piperine to markedly increase nutrient absorption, and the live K4 Lacto-probiotic cultures are the really good ones for your insides. K4 Cultured Turmeric Paste is a truly unique product, combining culinary excellence with nutritional wellness.

K4 Cultured ​Garlic Cloves​: Delectable garlic and herbs swimming in a lightly salty and acidic brine. ​K4 Cultured Garlic Cloves are a unique product, with nothing else like it on the market today. This garlic is banging with live probiotics and serious garlic and herb flavours, and the brine is smashing too. Garlic is a well-known natural antioxidant and antibiotic, rich in allicin and prebiotics. The sharp, piquant notes that raw garlic is known for are beautifully softened by fermentation by Lacto-probiotic cultures.

K4 Cultured Ginger: Finely sliced ginger bathed in a lightly salty and tangy brine.  Natural and banging with live probiotics and serious punch.  K4 Cultured Ginger is spicy, salty and awesome.  Ginger is a well-known natural remedy – anti-nausea, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.  All this, fermented with our live Lacto-probiotic cultures – that’s some serious culinary power.

K4 Kombucha Vinegar​: K4 Kombucha Vinegar is delicate, herbaceous, and rich in antioxidants and probiotics. Craft-brewed for 120 days from premium Darjeeling green tea, lightly filtered, then bottled without pasteurisation to retain the full benefit for digestive health. Blended with wild Karengo fronds from the South Island, Kiwi ocean superfoods that are rich in minerals and unique marine flavours.

Has there been any recent company news?

“We opened the doors of our craft-brewery in the Bay of Islands in June 2016.  As mentioned earlier, the new range of K4 Cultured Foods is to be released to the market in the second week of August 2017.  All K4 products will be available in Auckland exclusively to Farro Fresh stores ​until February 2018.  We have entered two products in the New Zealand Food Awards this year – K4 Cultured Turmeric Paste and K4 Kombucha – Rosehip & Hibiscus.  We are excited about all of these new developments!”

What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?

“As a small, family business, we are already moving forwards at a good pace.  We opened for trade in March 2016, opened our brewery to the public in June 2016, and we have a number of project and exciting developments already in place with Massey University, Farro Fresh, our new Cultured Foods range and the NZ Food Awards. The next steps for us are to continue to keep this pace up with continued new developments and expanding our production operations to meet the increased demands (including new hire staff).”

Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?

“Our full range of products are available online at with free delivery around the North Island (we can ship to the South with additional costs), at our Brewery Door in the Bay of Islands (125 Haruru Falls Road, Haruru Falls), and at the Old Packhouse Markets held every Saturday in Kerikeri. In August, our full range of K4 products will be available to Aucklanders who shop at Farro Fresh.  We continue to add to our stockist locations on a regular basis, we are particularly keen to be stocked in health-conscious, sustainable, high-quality food-hero businesses.  If you are interested in stocking our products – please get in touch, we’d love to talk to you!”