Ashley Mae’s Golden Milk: 'a satisfying drink with health benefits'
Fans of golden milk rave about its health benefits – Ashley Usher promises that hers is delicious.
In the middle of a pandemic and with no entrepreneurial experience, she started selling Ashley Mae’s Golden Milk last year. Although initially hesitant, she was encouraged by her family’s response to her recipe. To milk she added various spices, the main one being turmeric that gave it a deep yellow colour.
“I did originally make it for myself and my family during lockdown,” she said. “At the time I was studying to get certified as an integrated nutrition health coach. During that process I was introduced to the benefits of turmeric – and put it in practically everything.
“Eventually I settled on my own recipe for golden milk. I introduced it to my family and they loved it. It was something we looked forward to every single day. Seeing how much they loved it, I loved it; we just wanted to share it with others.”
Last July she set up the business having decided to call it Ashley Mae’s, a nickname her parents gave her as a child. It was December before Ms Usher got the nerve to market and sell the drink.
“It was a bit scary especially because it came about during the pandemic,” she said. “I kept asking myself, ‘How am I going to do this during a pandemic?’ But I prayed about it a lot. Over and over I kept receiving peace about it and I realised it was just my fear standing in the way of me going ahead and doing it and I had to move past it and I did, thankfully.”
Although she is not there yet, her goal is to focus on Ashley Mae’s full-time.
“I have a full-time job which is my work and this is what I do outside of those hours. I’m very busy but very blessed and very grateful.”
Turmeric, which gives curry its yellow colour, has been used as a spice and medicinal herb in India for thousands of years. Ms Usher was drawn in by its many benefits.
“It’s a natural anti-inflammatory food. It’s packed full of benefits. It supports good immune function, which is excellent right now given the current pandemic; it offers pain relief of arthritis symptoms, it improves digestion, improves brain function and lowers the risk of brain-related disease like Alzheimer’s. It also promotes healthy skin and nails – which everybody loves even if they’re not concerned about other health concerns.
“Another benefit of turmeric is it can help prevent cancer. I [am not claiming] that my golden milk is a miracle drink - it’s not a miracle drink. What I am saying is that it’s a smooth, delicious, satisfying drink with health benefits. You don’t have to feel guilty about drinking it.”
A severe case of acne got her interested in health in her early teens.
“At that point my level of knowledge of health was, maybe if I eat raw vegetables my acne will go away,” she said. “The food was very different back then but that was where it started.”
She believes she was able to move her knowledge forward with help from her father, William Usher, who worked as a chef in hotels many years ago.
“He has definitely shown me how to combine different flavours,” she said. “I don’t use a recipe book. I do find inspiration from other people. I’ll take what I like from a recipe that they share and then I’ll twist it. I know what works. I know what flavours go well together.
“I really like to eat healthy and I like to make the food that I eat interesting and enticing. I do like to make it colourful. I didn’t invent golden milk. Golden milk’s been around for a while but I do have my own twist, my own recipe.”
She makes the milk at home with pots, utensils and a stove she uses specifically for it. Every batch is made the day before delivery to ensure customers receive it when it is fresh.
“A lot of people say it’s very smooth and delicious,” the entrepreneur added.
Her family helps with production but Ms Usher believes that God also plays a huge part.
“Everything that I have, including this business, comes from God. It’s my responsibility to take what God gives me, what he invests in me, and make it grow.
“It’s a pandemic right now and there has been so much loss and God has blessed me with so much. Not just as a business but in so many ways and I’m very, very thankful. And the same way that he blesses me I really want to share my blessings and be a blessing to other people.”
Ashley Mae’s Golden Milk is available at Lindo’s in Devonshire and Rubis East Broadway Service Station. It can also be ordered on Instagram, @ashleymaesbda, or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and delivered island-wide