Lifeway Foods is an American health food company selling kefir founded in 1986. Lifeway Foods was founded by Michael Smolyansky, an immigrant who arrived in the United States from Odessa, Ukraine, USSR, in 1976. Ten years after moving to the US, he found the fermented milk drink kefir at a food show and decided to start producing it. The company started in Michael's basement, but it soon turned public. After Michael's death in 2002, his daughter, Julie Smolyansky, took over the company.