NOW Foods founder Elwood Richard was honored by the Natural Products Association (NPA) with its Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony held on Sept. 17 in conjunction with the Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore. The NPA Lifetime Achievement award is bestowed to a pioneer in the natural products industry and this designation reflects the very long history of deep commitment to the industry guided by El’s vision since he started NOW Foods 46 years ago.
Educated as a physical chemist, El expected it would be temporary when he joined his father’s company, Fearn Soya, in 1960. Seeing a need to help people be healthy, he started the Fruitful Yield stores in the Chicago suburbs in 1963, which led to the launch of NOW Foods in 1968 to supply quality products at reasonable prices to the stores.
With 46 years of dedication exclusively to natural foods retailers, NOW is currently one of the largest providers of products and services to natural food retailers, and is still owned by the Richard family today.
Retired from the day-to-day operation of NOW, El remains involved in the industry through his work as webmaster for the Natural Health Research Institute.