Nutiva Named to Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America
World's Leading Organic Superfoods Brand Ranked in List Four Years in a Row PR Newswire
POINT RICHMOND, Calif., Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nutiva®, the world's leading provider of organic coconut oil, hemp foods, and chia seeds, has been named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America by Inc. Magazine. Earning accolades in the Private Company Sector for the fourth year in a row, Nutiva ranks at No. 2377 as a result of rapid growth stemming from its uncompromising dedication to providing the highest quality organic superfoods and commitment to "Nourishing People and Planet."
"This is the fourth consecutive year we've made the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company list, which is a great endorsement of the superfoods industry," said Nutiva founder and CEO John W. Roulac. "Our customers are looking for nutrient-dense organic foods that enhance their health and fit into their busy lifestyles. Coconut, hemp, and chia have nourished people in this way for many centuries."
A Surging Demand for Superfoods
A mainstream popularity spike for superfoods—most notably coconut, hemp, and chia—is ongoing due to publicity in the popular media by such proponents as Dr. Oz. Nutiva is riding this wave of demand, resulting in its average 55 percent annual growth rate since 2002. In the past year alone, the demand for Nutiva's organic chia has increased five-fold and overall sales have doubled. More people than ever are discovering the rich nutritional benefits of superfoods that have been a source of human nourishment throughout history. Compare this to other discoveries being made about modern chemical-intensive GMO (genetically modified organism) corn and soy crops, which underpin unhealthy GMO vegetable oils and animal feedlots with their compromised meat and milk. Nutiva remains committed to maintaining the integrity of its ingredients while escalating its brand to beyond the one hundred million annual sales range. Organic integrity and support for family farmers is an essential part of Nutiva's operational backbone.
Relocation and New Job Opportunities
This month Nutiva moved its headquarters from Oxnard, in Southern California, to Point Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area. The new location—ten times larger than Nutiva's previous home and complete with a state-of-the-art high-speed manufacturing facility—has brought with it more than fifty new job opportunities in 2012, and these added jobs may total a hundred in 2013. Nutiva's recent job fair attracted more than a thousand potential employees, and seasoned executives, including professionals formerly with such top brands as Spectrum Naturals, Calistoga Water, and Real Goods Solar, have already joined the team.
Nutiva's Pay-It-Forward Approach
Nutiva holds a "pay it forward" vision that includes donating 1 percent of its sales to groups promoting sustainable agriculture, as well as supporting the health and well-being of the communities in which it operates. This all happens within an overarching goal of revolutionizing the way the world eats. Nutiva has already partnered with the nonprofit group Common Vision to plant a fruit tree orchard at every one of the twenty-five public schools in Richmond. In the Philippines, Nutiva is giving away thirty-five thousand coconut seedlings to independent farmers. Each tree will, in five years, yield up to forty-eight coconuts a year and produce a few dozen jars of Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil. The Nutiva 1 percent program is on track to donate four hundred thousand dollars in 2012.
For more information, please visit: www.nutiva.com or follow the company on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Nutiva.
Nutiva is dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world, demonstrating its mission to nourish people and planet by using delicious organic ingredients, enriching the soil, and donating 1 percent of sales to sustainable-agriculture groups. Founded in 1999, Nutiva is the world's best-selling brand of nutritious organic hemp foods, extra-virgin coconut oil, and chia seeds. Fifteen thousand retailers in the United States, Canada, and the European Union offer Nutiva products, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, Publix, Safeway, Loblaws, and Amazon.com.
About Inc. 5000
Each year Inc. Magazine ranks the five thousand fastest-growing privately held firms in the United States. This prestigious list of the nation's most successful private companies has become a hallmark of entrepreneurial success and the place where future household names first make their mark. Oracle, Patagonia, E*Trade, American Apparel, Microsoft, and numerous other well-known brands are among those celebrated on this list.
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Health food company Nutiva moving to Richmond, hiring 100 workers
Nutiva, a health food business, is holding a job fair Monday, August 6 at its new Richmond location on W.Cutting Blvd.
By: Jennifer Baires | August 3, 2012 – 2:49 pm
When he was 20 years old, John Roulac had no idea that the pain and sluggishness he was experiencing while shooting hoops would lead him to found Nutiva, one of the fastest-growing health food companies in the United States, which will soon move into a new warehouse in Point Richmond and expects to hire about 100 local workers.
“I was a basketball fanatic. All I wanted to do in my twenties was play basketball every day. I started cramping a lot, so I had to change my diet,” said Roulac of his early years. He decided that eating copious amounts of Spam and hamburgers wasn’t helping his game, so he switched to organic and healthier foods. But at the time, they could be hard to find. “When I started eating healthier in the ’70s, it wasn’t that easy,” he said.
Roulac’s passion for finding practical solutions to environmental challenges has dominated his career. Roulac authored a best-selling book on backyard composting as well as one about industrial hemp. In 1999, he founded Nutiva in Sebastopol, California, transferring his interest and knowledge of hemp into Nutiva’s first product—a hemp food bar. The company later expanded to producing other hemp food products—oil and protein powder—and later into other “superfood” markets.
“Superfood” is a slippery term without scientific standards or legal definitions. It’s commonly used in marketing to describe foods high in nutritional content and low in negative properties like saturated fats, artificial ingredients and additives. Currently, Nutiva sells coconut oil based products and chia seeds, in addition to its hemp seed products. Chia seeds are traditionally consumed in Mexico and South America, but have recently gained popularity as a food product in the US—aside from their decorative abilities as “Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia Pets.”
The company’s focus on hemp products attracted the attention of the federal government in 1999, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized a tractor trailer full of hemp seed from Nutiva’s supplier, Kenex, Canada’s leading producer and processor of industrial hemp products. The DEA was concerned that the hemp seeds, which are derived from a variety of Cannibis plants, were too closely related to marijuana, which is a controlled substance in the US.
Nutiva teamed up with Kenex and other hemp industry groups to take on the DEA in court. They challenged two regulations that, taken together, banned the sale or possession of hemp seeds even when they contained only non-psychoactive trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the chemical that makes it possible for marijuana users to get high. The court decided that the hemp seed did not fall under the definition of marijuana and ruled in favor of Nutiva and its fellow petitioners.
Since 2005, Nutiva has reported a 42 percent annual growth rate. Its products are sold by more than 10,000 retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods Markets and The Vitamin Shoppe. The company also sells its products online directly from its website or Amazon. The closest place to Richmond to pick up their goods is at El Cerrito Natural Grocery Store on San Pablo Ave.
Now that Nutiva is moving in to its new home in Point Richmond on September 1, it is looking to hire 100 employees over the next six months. The company is hosting a public job fair on Monday, August 6, from 12-4pm at the new facility at 213 W. Cutting Boulevard. The public is encouraged to attend, no RSVP necessary.
According to Laura Farricane, Nutiva’s recently hired Human Resource Director, open positions vary from warehouse production and manufacturing to administrative and office jobs. “We’re hiring for all positions. We’ve been busy hiring people already,” said Farricane.
Farricane said she’s excited about the prospects for finding employees in Richmond and hopes to hire people who live in the community. “We’ll be taking applications and resumes not just for these positions that are open now, but for the ones open over the next few months,” said Farricane.
“We’re excited. We think we’re going to get a big turnout,” Roulac said about the upcoming job fair.
That type of response would not be surprising in Richmond, where the economic downturn hit residents especially hard over the last few years. According to California’s Employment Development Department, Richmond’s unemployment has remained dismally high, spiking at nearly 16 percent over the last year.
The move to Richmond, from Oxnard, California, where it is currently based, is an important one for a company that imports many ingredients. “One of the reasons we chose Richmond is it’s close to Port of Oakland,” said Roulac. “It’s centrally located in both the East Bay and Marin County. We’re really focused on recruiting the best team possible from the people in this area.”
Roulac and Farricane boast that Nutiva is not a typical company, and that they pride themselves on exemplifying the company’s core values for employees: Nourish people and planet. “We’ll walk our talk in trying to build a community,” said Farricane.
Once Nutiva is up and humming in its new space, employees can expect on-site fitness classes, health and wellness classes and incentives to pursue a healthier lifestyle, in addition to a standard health benefits package, according to Farricane. “One of the things we’re doing is we cover up to $75 for people to reimburse for yoga classes, swimming at the Richmond Plunge and we’re looking to have some yoga classes on site as well,” said Roulac.
“We believe that we’ll revolutionize the food world one person at a time. Meaning, not everyone we hire will understand the value of eating organic. But, with education we can slowly turn that tide and eventually make a good dent in that world,” Farricane said.
At a city council meeting on July 24, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin presented Roulac with a commendation for Nutiva. McLaughlin, and the council, expressed their excitement at welcoming Nutiva to Richmond and recognized the company for its early commitment to the city. Over the next five years, Nutiva–in partnership with Common Vision–will plant fruit trees in every public school in Richmond.
“In Richmond there’s not as much access to healthy food, and we understand that,” said Roulac. He said the tree planting is their way of helping to fill the void.
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