People We Love: Nature’s Path

Once upon a time, organic foods weren’t something you bought. You either grew them yourself, or bought them from the old lady down the street. You know, the one with the strong Italian accent, who did things the funny, slow way, and used to tell you how things were better way back when.

Arran Stephens, like many of our early pioneers, started with an idea, the idea of quality food and healthy eating. In 1971 Stephens and a partner opened Lifestream, Canada’s first organic and natural foods supermarket, and then soon started selling products under the same name, inspired by the whole grain recipes of the ancient Essenes.

Ten years later the partnership soured and Lifestream was sold, acquired by Kraft Foods. Undeterred, in 1982 Stephens and his wife started Nature’s Path and grew solidly over the years, establishing visionary leadership in organic foods. In 1995 the company bought Lifestream back into the fold.

What is worth noting here is the combination of vision and commitment, and the even more powerful business savvy that has grown the company solidly, without compromise.

The photo above is from 1985. Aran and his wife, Ratana and a trade show. So many trade shows, so many new products and so many thanks for leadership and integrity in creating lots of choices, lots of demand and lots of whole grain goodness.

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