How Jim Beck got Nature’s Best back on track to serve its target audience

Jim Beck, president and CEO, Nature's Best

Jim Beck, president and CEO, Nature’s Best

Family Business Category

Finalist

All was not well at Nature’s Best in 2005 when Jim Beck stepped into the role of CEO. The company’s CEO had stepped down from the family run business because of a clash with the owner, who happened to be his mother, about the future of the business.

Operations had become very expensive and the company had cut ties with Whole Foods, which made up 36 percent of the company’s revenue. Beck had been with the company focusing on IT development, but he had not previously been part of any discussion about strategy and leadership.

It wasn’t going to be easy, but as it turned out, severing the relationship with Whole Foods was actually a good thing for the company’s future. The relationship was no longer profitable for Nature’s Best and the break allowed the company to establish itself as a key distributor for independent health food stores.

Another challenge was to redesign the company’s production line and implement new software as well as consolidate operations into one building.

When all was said and done, Nature’s Best became much more efficient and was better positioned to expand into new markets and open new distribution centers.

As the company continued to evolve and even create its own brand, Beck made sure that his people felt like part of the growth. That was a key motivating factor behind his support of Greener Initiatives, a program that started as a grassroots co-op dedicated to providing healthy food for employees, their families and customers. Beck doesn’t want employees to see their work as just a job, but as an opportunity to make a difference and put their unique talents to use.

One of Beck’s next major goals is to expand eastward by acquiring a gourmet food company on the East Coast and propel his company to even greater heights.

How to reach: Nature’s Best, www.naturesbest.net

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