Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beating the Odds - Now Foods

Soil quality is inversely proportional to how much you have to use a pick. Before planting my current garden, I never thought a pick was a garden tool.

One of the reasons I work out is so I can do more things more easily. Better health also helps me recover faster if I do hit a challenge. So I am hoping my back that I twisted gardening today heals quickly.

I read Beating the Odds by Dan Richard. I thought it was odd that a self proclaimed Christian centered company like Now Foods would publish a book on gambling but it is not. It is the history of Now Foods.

I feel a connection to the company since one of the companies that I had invested in (Purity Products) sold to them several years ago. It was interesting to me as I had met a number of the people in the story.

It is a short and absorbing book. I would say it is a success book but it also tells of the many challenges the company had to face through their many years - things like theft, flooding, FDA (they sell supplements and the FDA generally has a dislike for companies that sell supplements) etc.

It is a family business so it tells the story of the families; the generational shift.

Now started in 1948 selling soy flour and soy products. The government had recruited a Dr. Fearn during the war to work on soy products as a source of inexpensive protein. When he died, Paul Richard who had been a friend stepped in and filled the few orders left. This was the start - essentially from nothing of an international natural products company that would grow to over $100,000,000 in sales, over 500 people with a 200,000 square foot head office warehouse.

I found the sales numbers fascinating from 1950 to 1960 it grew from $6,000 to $100,000 in sales. Still a tiny company even adjusting for inflation.

It tells of the balance and love/hate relationship between manufacturer and distributor. I have been a distributor most of my life so have first hand experience.

Interesting book.


At 11:15 AM, Anonymous leadership development said...

Where can I buy the book? Thanks..


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