In Part 1 of my blog, I shared a glimpse into how we got started as a superfoods company and all the incredible people that contributed to our exponential growth. In this final installment, you'll learn about the inevitable challenges that tested our thriving business and how they only drove us to reach for new heights as we look toward the future.
When I think back to the summer of 2003, I remember the exciting, yet apprehensive feeling that settled in to permanently live with us when the idea of Navitas first came to life. Our friends Paul and Lisa had been importing Maca for sale in Australia and knowing we were in transition with work, thought it might be a good fit for us, too. Zach and Paul had a long history of traveling together in their twenties, sharing a profound curiosity about different cultures and traditional foods abroad. It was through these early experiences that Paul was introduced to the miracle plant Maca from Peru. As is typical of an entrepreneur, Zach saw infinite possibilities for a business beyond Maca and comfort with the risk, while I stared at my pregnant belly of six months with a mix of hope, trepidation and a fair amount of skepticism. After all, we had only been married for a little over two years, not yet ready to be parents, much less for the enormous responsibility of the “other baby” we were about to raise. But, we both came of age embedded within the Grateful Dead community and therefore the idea of starting a health food company fit squarely within our personal ideologies. Convinced that traditional superfoods would help Westerners be healthier, we forged ahead with nothing more than the vision of what could be and a nominal personal investment. We had no idea then that Navitas would evolve to become a wellness lifestyle brand supporting health seekers like us and helping to advance organic agriculture in the process.
As Navitas celebrates 15 years in business, I am amazed at how far we’ve come. So much has changed since the beginning, both within the industry and personally throughout these years. Several pivotal moments and instrumental people have helped to create a confluence of success for the company. As we celebrate this milestone, it seems fitting to honor each of those crossroads and the amazing people that share our story because without them, we wouldn’t be here today.
Timing is Everything
Between exquisitely crafted smoothie bowls, glowing unicorn lattes and glamorous multi-tiered cakes adorned with fresh flowers, it's hard to separate superfoods from the cutting-edge cuisine of modern health these days. Yet, surprisingly, each of these superfood ingredients has been used by cultures all around the world for quite literally thousands of years! So what did past civilizations do with these valuable ingredients? Here's a hint: it definitely didn't involve a Vitamix.
From the Camu Berries of the Amazon to the Goji Berries of the Himalayas, most superfoods were deemed as medicinal plants, and used as a part of intricate healing practices and sacred rituals. Medicinal mushrooms were often used as a part of Chinese medicine and Cacao beans were deemed so divine that the plant was actually named “food of the Gods,” and often collected as a prized spoil of war. Ancient cultures had very deep connections with the plants that grew around them, and passed down valuable information from generation to generation on the most healing berries, seeds, leaves and roots used to treat a myriad of symptoms – from fertility to fever.