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NOW Real Foods: Empowering Healthier Lives Since 1968
Back in the early 60’s, the health food industry was in its infancy. “Health foods” were obscure and peculiar, and health food enthusiasts were broadly categorized as hippies and granola-heads. During these raw and formative early years, entrepreneur Elwood Richard started a small chain of health food stores in the Chicago area called Health House. A degreed physical chemist, Elwood’s collegiate research had focused on enhancing physical performance through the use of healthy foods and nutritional supplements. The knowledge he acquired during this time left him a firm believer in the benefits of natural products for health and quality of life, and laid the early foundation for his life-long love of nutrition and health foods.
After losing customers to a local supermarket due to the high cost of his products, Elwood realized that in order for his health food stores to survive and thrive they needed to offer affordable natural products. Healthy foods wouldn’t last if no one could afford them. So he started his own natural products manufacturing company to supply his stores, which afforded him complete control over product cost and quality. NOW Foods was born!
Today NOW is still owned by the Richard family and has grown to become one of the natural product industry’s most recognizable brands, providing one of the most extensive lines of natural products available. NOW has always remained true to Elwood’s original vision to meet consumer need for health foods by offering affordable, high quality natural products.
NOW’s Manufacturing, Distribution & Testing Facilities
As one of the natural products industry’s premier manufacturers, NOW owns and operates several manufacturing and distribution facilities in the United States and Canada. NOW is headquartered in Bloomingdale, Illinois, where their corporate offices and primary manufacturing facility are located. NOW also operates a cutting-edge distribution facility in the neighboring town of Roselle. To better service their west coast customers NOW also operates a manufacturing and distribution facility in Sparks, Nevada. Both the Bloomingdale and Sparks facilities also house state-of-the-art testing laboratories, where NOW’s quality technicians use the latest analytical instrumentation to perform approximately 16,000 tests on ingredients and finished products each month.
Bloomingdale, Illinois Manufacturing & Distribution Facility
Built in 1998 and designed by Louis Richard, founder Elwood Richard’s brother, Now Real Foods’ Bloomingdale manufacturing and distribution plant is a 263,000 square foot facility with a thermostatically-controlled, space-maximizing warehouse and temperature-sensitive storage and refrigeration areas. Their primary manufacturing facility also contains several in-house laboratories, including gas chromatography, analytical, microbiological, and sensory labs. Their in-house laboratories help us to expedite the testing of raw materials, ingredient samples, and finished products, and afford their technicians a level of quality control that is virtually unmatched within the natural products industry. Their Bloomingdale facility is at the heart of their manufacturing and distribution network and strongly supports their ability to achieve consistent levels of product quality, efficacy, and safety, as well as their ability to meet increasing consumer demand.
Sparks, Nevada Manufacturing & Distribution Facility
Built in 2011, Now Real Foods’ Western Manufacturing & Distribution facility in Sparks, Nevada is a modern warehouse with softgel, capsule, tablet, and powder manufacturing lines, as well as an advanced suite of analytical laboratories that allow for rapid and comprehensive testing of both incoming ingredients and outgoing finished products. The Sparks facility is also on the cutting-edge of green building technology. NOW’s Commitment to Sustainability NOW’s Sparks, Nevada facility is a GMP-certified green facility built to adhere to LEED program specifications, which supports NOW’s focus on environmental and sustainability initiatives. Their Sparks facility is LEED Silver certified.
Roselle, Illinois Distribution Center
Opened in 2017 in response to continued growth and increasing consumer demand, NOW’s 200,000 square foot Roselle distribution facility is carefully planned to support long-term growth and expansion. They moved their distribution operations from their Bloomingdale manufacturing plant to Roselle to better support their ongoing growth and future expansion.
Updated Order Fulfillment & Warehouse Technology
This facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art Pick-to-Voice order fulfillment system and a three-story high, high-velocity picking module that’s designed to drive higher order output and is scalable for future growth. Significant refrigeration and freezer upgrades allow the company to store up to 800 pallets of refrigerated materials and up to 200 pallets of frozen materials. NOW also built in a special pack-out area designed to significantly improve packing efficiencies, and a special dock area exclusively for large-quantity truck orders to improve efficiency and order turnaround times.
Canadian Manufacturing & Distribution Operations
NOW is proud to partner with their colleagues in Canada (NOW Canada) to bring affordable natural health products to their friends north of the border. NOW Canada operates warehouse and distribution facilities in: Calgary, Alberta (41,000 square feet) Montreal, Quebec (41,000 square feet) Guelph, Ontario (100,000 square feet, including Production) Delta, British Columbia (30,000 square feet)
In 2012 NOW purchased and occupied our current corporate office building in Bloomingdale, just minutes away from their Bloomingdale plant. Their corporate offices are home to numerous employees and departments, including Administration, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, Accounting, Technology, Purchasing, and others. This facility was purchased with future growth in mind and has adequate space for expansion.
As a natural products manufacturer NOW is keenly aware of our potential impact on the environment, and they’re committed to responsible stewardship of the planet through the reduction of our carbon footprint and other sustainability initiatives.
Local Sustainability Efforts
NOW is proud to host and participate in environmental initiatives throughout their local community.
Local Forest Preserve Clean-up Days
Since 1998, NOW has hosted an annual employee forest preserve cleanup day to de-litter and maintain the East Branch Forest Preserve (DuPage County) adjacent to their Glen Ellyn Road plant. NOW employees not only clean and de-litter, they also plant native seeds, set up fish nurseries, and clear invasive plants.
Partnership With The Conservation Foundation
NOW partners with The Conservation Foundation to help promote healthy gardens and water conservation through awareness and various programs such as special sales on items such as rain barrels, composters, rain water diverters, flower boxes, plant hangers, and more. The Conservation Foundation is a non-profit and four-star charity organization dedicated to protecting open space and natural land, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment in the greater Chicagoland area.
Local Need-based Assistance
When disaster strikes close to home NOW stands ready to help their friends and neighbors with charitable contributions and employee involvement. An example of their charitable outreach is the assistance NOW employees provided to several communities devastated by powerful tornadoes in 2013, including the town of Washington, Illinois. NOW employees donated food, clothing, and their time assisting with relief efforts. As a successful business member of their local community, they firmly believe it’s their responsibility to help those in need whenever they can, but especially when the need is greatest.
Awards and Recognition
At NOW, they understand the importance of doing whatever is in their power to not only preserve their environment, but to improve it as well. This begins with education, vision and the collective efforts of individuals willing to make that commitment. Over the years NOW has maintained their commitment to beautifying our planet and protecting our remaining natural resources. From progressive recycling programs to community-based activities, they’ll continue to do their part to promote a higher level of social responsibility.
Reducing NOW’s Carbon Footprint
At NOW, they work with various organizations to assess their impact on the environment, one of which is Pratt Industries, their supplier of cardboard boxes. Each year Pratt sends NOW a report estimating how much they’ve reduced their carbon footprint through the use of recycled cardboard.