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Son of Iranian immigrants on his journey to explore a dairy-free future

At nine years old, Nima Bahrami came to Vancouver with his family. Now he's hoping to help dairy lovers change to a plant-based life.
Nima-Bahrami-bettermood
Nima Bahrami of bettermoo(d), a Vancouver-based business that makes alternative dairy products

In 1998, Nima Bahrami was just nine years old when his family decided to pack their bags and move to Vancouver from Tehran. Little Nima was puzzled about what was going on and hesitant to leave his friends.

Saying goodbye to his life in Iran was not easy at all. “I was used to having all my friends and people I knew. It was a little bit of cultural shock, and the language was a bit of a barrier when I moved here,” said Bahrami, now 31, during an interview at a café in Kitsilano.

He was in elementary school when he took the burden on his tiny shoulders to break that language barrier. However, he said he later appreciated that his parents thought to make that move and create a change for him and his younger brother. “I feel happy that my parents brought us to a place that is way more open, inclusive, and takes care of its citizens,” added Bahrami.

Immigration also meant making some sacrifices for the family. Bahrami’s mom was an interior designer but had to quit her job to spend more time with the kids and help them get accustomed to a new culture. “She did a lot of volunteer work and got involved with my elementary school which is right there,” said Bahrami pointing his finger at Henry Hudson Elementary School on Cypress Street, visible from the café windows. Ultimately, Bahrami went on to obtain his MBA from Cardiff University in Wales.

Growing up, Bahrami was passionate about everything related to animals and the environment. Years later, his passion turned into a profession. Bahrami is now the founder and CEO of bettermoo(d), a brand that offers dairy-alternative products and recreates the taste that we enjoy in dairy products. He recently turned vegan, which he found hard to do as following a plant-based lifestyle is not a big thing yet in the Iranian culture. Now Bahrami wants to cater to a target market with a similar mindset of lifestyle change.

At 29, Bahrami began analyzing the veganism trend to find entrepreneurial opportunities. After investing a reasonable amount of time in research and development, his team at his Vancouver-based company learned why cow milk tastes the way it does.

“My goal is to recreate the flavours of the dairy from the Alps region which is best known in the world,” said the founder. Through research, bettermoo(d) discovered that a cow’s diet and living conditions impact the flavour of its milk.

“In the Alps region cows roam free and eat grass, herbs, flowers, and whatever they are supposed to. That is why the milk they produce ends up being rich and creamy and hence all the products made through that milk are well-known and unique,” said Bahrami.

The company’s motto, “What a cow eats and a human needs,” reflects their efforts to capture the secret blend of herbs that cows consume and incorporate it in bettermoo(d)’s beverages and all other products.

His company recently introduced plant-based milk (Moodrink) and soon will be launching yogurt (Moogurt), butter (better) in addition to cheese, ice cream, and sour cream alternatives. His vision is to expand the product categories and create a dairy replacement brand.

The pandemic brought a lot of uncertainties for many entrepreneurs, and things were no different for Bahrami. With global supply chain delays, operations were hit, but the team took every challenge as an opportunity. Finding financial support during the pandemic to discover the right formula was one of the most complex parts, shared Bahrami.

Bahrami holds high hopes for the future and plans to launch more products soon via their website.