Koel Thomae, an Australian ex-pat, is co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt, a yogurt company that derives its recipe from the land down under. Thomae’s food industry career started in an entrepreneurial start-up, IZZE Beverage Company, and this gave her the foundation and inspiration to take on the challenge of starting Noosa Yoghurt. Named after a town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa now finds its home in the Colorado foothills.
Q: Talk about your connection with Noosa, Australia and with the Colorado foothills. How do they both inspire you to create yogurt?
A: I was born and raised in Australia, and even though Colorado is my home away from home I go back to visit my family on a regular basis. My mum lives on the Sunshine Coast just near Noosa, and it was on a visit home to see her that I discovered the family company Queensland Yoghurt, and it is their secret family recipe that Noosa Yoghurt is based on. Noosa and the Colorado foothills share a similar energy and dynamic population, which inspires a healthy lifestyle. Noosa Yoghurt embodies this ethos in a great, healthful tasting product.
Q: I read an article on your site that said you’re growing so fast that you had to say no to some retailers and distributors because demand outpaced production capacity. Why do you think there is such a high demand for your yogurt?
A: I think it is simple—we make some of the best tasting yogurt in the United States. Noosa Yoghurt is uniquely thick and velvety with a perfect sweet-tart flavor profile, which we then pair with high quality fruit purees. The indulgent nature of Noosa Yoghurt makes it a great option for multiple eating occasions including brekkie (that’s what we call ‘breakfast’ down under), a mid-afternoon snack or healthful dessert.
Q: What is unique about the golden Clover Alfalfa honey that you use in your honey yogurt?
A: When we launched Noosa Yoghurt it was our goal to source as many of our ingredients locally as possible. Beeyond the Hive is a Colorado family company that shares a similar passion for great food, and they have been a perfect partner for us, supplying us with honey that imparts the Colorado fresh energy that this state is well known for.
Q: What do you love most about honey?
A: Honey has always been my sweetener of choice. I love that it creates a taste of ‘home’ because you know the bees have been gathering nectar from local flowers.
Q: Any plans for new flavors in the future?
A: We just launched passion fruit, which is a quintessential Aussie flavor, and we will soon be adding lemon (which we believe will be the best tasting on the market) to our family of flavors.