The Fermentation Legacy: Katerina Hayes and the Art of Vegan Kimchi

The Fermentation Legacy: Katerina Hayes and the Art of Vegan Kimchi

Hey there, friends!

Today, I want to introduce you to an incredible woman with an inspiring story - Katerina Hayes, the founder of Naked Kimchi & Co . Katerina's journey with fermentation is deeply rooted in her family history, and her passion for this ancient tradition has led her to share the incredible health benefits of fermented foods with the world.

A Rich Heritage of Fermentation

Growing up in Slavyansk, Ukraine, Katerina was immersed in a family culture that cherished traditional fermentation techniques passed down through generations. She fondly recalls watching her grandmother and mother harvest vegetables and fruits from their own land to ferment for the long winter months. As a young girl, Katerina eagerly participated in preparing seasonal produce for fermentation, helping her family to sustain themselves during harsh winters.

Carrying on the Tradition

Today, Katerina is dedicated to passing on her family's fermentation wisdom to her children and promoting the importance of a healthy gut through her brand. She strongly advocates for the many health benefits of fermented vegetables and fruits, including essential vitamins, microelements, enzymes, and good gut bacteria. These natural powerhouses contribute to healthy hair, skin, bones, and blood sugar levels, while also bolstering the immune system and providing anti-inflammatory properties.

Remarkable Resilience

Katerina and her family are a testament to the incredible health benefits of fermented foods. She rarely falls ill, and even during the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her children remained in good health. Her 67-year-old mother, who fleet from the war in Ukraine in 2022 and joined the family business,  has never experienced a cold or felt unwell, as she still adheres to the family's time-honored practice of planting, harvesting, and fermenting seasonal produce.

Falling in Love with Kimchi

After finishing school, Katerina moved to Sakhalin Island in far east Russia to reunite with her father, whom she hadn't seen for 7 years. In Sakhalin, where her father introduced her to Korean ferments, including kimchi. She was instantly smitten with the tangy, spicy flavours and even embraced her father's unique twist on the traditional recipe, which incorporated salmon and fermented fish sauce. Although Katerina prefers vegan kimchi, she loves incorporating it into her all dishes for an explosion of flavour.

The Science of Fermentation

For Katerina, the art of fermentation is akin to a captivating science experiment. She's passionate about learning traditional recipes from around the world and creating her own unique artisan blends for her ferments. Katerina firmly believes in the connection between gut health and overall well-being and is committed to using the latest research and scientific evidence to support her fermentation practices.

A Daily Dose of Kimchi

Katerina makes a point of incorporating fermented vegetables, especially kimchi, into her daily diet. She firmly believes in kimchi's power as a superfood for the brain, an excellent source of fibre, and a low-calorie snack. Naked Kimchi & Co vegan kimchi is free from added sugar, making it perfect for her active lifestyle and gym routine. She's thrilled that more and more athletes are recognising the benefits of this flavourful fermented dish.


Katerina Hayes' passion for fermentation and her dedication to sharing the health benefits of vegan gluten-free kimchi is truly inspiring. Her commitment to her family's fermentation legacy and her tireless pursuit of knowledge about traditional recipes and gut health make her a shining example of how we can all improve our well-being through the foods we eat. So go ahead, try vegan kimchi, and enjoy the delicious journey to better health!

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