Natoya John and her product
Natoya John and her product

Natoya John and her husband Nathanial John have been busy whipping up something light, creamy and delicious!

They've experimented to get the consistency and flavor right — just how their customers like it — and they assure that it's chock full of health benefits.

Natoya was happy to sit and chat about their product, Sae Jan's Yoghurt.

The Johns are devoted fans of their own product because of the great taste and many health benefits and highly recommend it as a wholesome addition to any family's diet.

According to Natoya, they got into the yoghurt business about one year ago. They were producing different kinds of fruit-punch when they got the idea to do some yoghurt.

Natoya said she got an opportunity from Government to go to China to learn food preservation techniques and, while she was there, experts taught her the art of making yoghurt.

She emphasised that maintaining high quality standards is important in yoghurt making.

"Yoghurt is a very sensitive product to produce. You have to ensure that sanitation is maintained. I take pride in that; and I take pride in producing the yoghurt," she said.

Elaborating on the health benefits of Sae Jan's Yoghurt, Natoya said it is made with probiotics — good bacteria that are important to your body's health and wellness.

These are imported from the United States and stored at controlled temperatures to keep them alive and potent.

According to WebMD, probiotics treat a number of gut related diseases, including infectious diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease.

WebMD says that some people have reported that probiotics are helpful in treating skin conditions such as eczema and promotes urinary and vaginal health, as well as oral health.

The Johns do not put any additives or preservatives in their yoghurt. Despite this, the couple's experimentation has determined that their product's shelf-life is about six weeks.

Sae Jan's Yoghurt is the Swiss-style type, also called stirred yoghurt. It comes in six flavours: strawberry, vanilla, prune, passion fruit, blueberry and pineapple. explains the Swiss-style yoghurt like this: "The warm cultured milk mixture is incubated in a large vat, cooled and then stirred for a creamy texture, often with fruit or other flavourings added."

Swiss-style yoghurt is a bit thinner than Balkan-style and set yoghurts.

Natoya says the couple manufactures yoghurt that is either sweetened, plain sugar-free or sugar-free with fruits, based on orders she gets from customers.

They use fresh cow's milk as much as possible, but sometimes this is not available at all, or cannot be supplied in the quantities they would like.

At such times, she said they turn to the supermarkets and buy imported cow's milk. Natoya said they use about 70 gallons of milk per month to prepare their yoghurts.

Temperature is key when it comes to making yoghurt, she explained. As such, temperature control is an essential aspect of their production process.

Apart from shortages of milk, the business sometimes faces challenges with packaging on occasions when the type of paper they use for labels is unavailable.

At the moment, the business supplies only households. However, the plan is to expand to supply all the supermarkets in Dominica.

According to Natoya, if there had been more reliable supplies of milk, they would have been able to increase production already.

Nevertheless, the business is expanding and the couple are preparing to set up a special building from which to operate their business.

At the moment, Sae Jan's Yoghurt is being produced exclusively at their Portsmouth residence.