Food for thought


Elwood Richard founded NOW Foods in 1968 with one very simple guiding principle: High-quality natural health products should be available to the public at fair prices.

Since then, that legacy of success has continued to drive the company’s day-to-day operations while serving as the backbone of its mission statement: providing value in products and services that empower people to live healthier lives.

What began as a small, struggling family business has grown to become one of the most trusted names in natural health products. NOW sells to more than 6,000 health food stores, and its products are available in more than 65 countries, reaching millions of customers. The product catalog contains more than 1,500 natural health products, making NOW the most comprehensive provider of such products.

Richard’s road to success was paved with obstacles, and he did not have the luxury of learning from the trials and errors of his predecessors. Then, in 1972, the company was hit with a large theft by an employee, dealing a devastating blow to the business and nearly leaving Richard’s family bankrupt. But Richard pressed on.

His vision has carried the company beyond what anyone could have predicted early on. Since opening its doors more than 40 years ago, NOW has acquired six companies, opened 10 retail stores throughout Chicago, been named Manufacturer of the Year twice, outgrown four locations, maintained an A+ Good Manufacturing Practice rating for nine consecutive years and partnered with countless colleagues to improve product quality, safety and innovation.

NOW currently has more than 500 employees and was named one of Chicago’s 101 Best Places to Work in 2008.

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