From starting Canada’s first vegetarian restaurant to leading one of the largest organic brands in North America, the Stephens family have been stewards of natural and organic food for more than 45 years. And while they’ve received dozens of offers to sell Nature’s Path, they’ve kept it in the family since it was founded three decades ago.
During a recent CEO Brown Bag Luncheon webinar, Arran and Arjan Stephens, CEO and EVP of marketing for Nature’s Path, shared these keys to the company’s success.
Have a vision and stick with it. For Nature’s Path, that’s, “Always leave the earth better than you found it.” All decisions are made with the triple-bottom line in mind. The company has given back more than $10 million since 2009 to charitable causes.
Grow sustainably. It’s not just the food that should be sustainable. “Expansion is very easy, but contraction is very difficult,” Arran says. “It’s important to be able to control your growth.”
Seed the next generation. Nature’s Path has engaged outside professionals with a “very conscious succession plan,” so that the company’s values will be ingrained in its next generation of leaders, too, according to Arran.
Think outside of the (cereal) box. Be constantly innovating and creating. “We love the aspect of having ingredients as a palette and being able to paint with them, so to speak—to create something that’s delicious and unique and bold,” Arjan says.
Be the place to be. That means fostering a great workplace and investing in your team.