Celebrating 40 Years Of Business For Nutri Advanced
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Nutri Advanced, one of the UKs leading supplement companies whose name is synonymous with high quality products, an unwavering commitment to education, and excellent customer service. Forty years in business is a landmark achievement, made perhaps even more significant because Nutri Advanced is still led by Ken Eddie who founded the company with his father Norman and his wife Barbara and Ken’s brother David back in 1981.
It’s impossible to celebrate this anniversary without first looking back to see where it all started. Here we take a closer look at the very beginnings of Nutri Advanced and some of the highlights along the way. And founder Ken Eddie is keen, above anything else this year, to celebrate every single one of the incredible team and valued customers. Because, as he says, “honestly, this is all about you, not me.”
Where it all began
So where did it all begin? Ken Eddie explains, “my father was a very forward-thinking osteopath and naturopath; that’s where my interest in health and nutrition came from. Back then he was frustrated at the lack of availability of specialist nutrition supplements to support his patients’ health. He knew what he wanted but couldn’t get hold of the right products in the UK. The only way to solve this problem was to source high quality products from overseas (mainly the US). He got great results using these products, and was even featured in the national newspapers for the success he was having with his patients. At the same time, many likeminded practitioners were also frustrated and in need of a similar solution. My father and I joined together and started to import specialist supplements; that way he could integrate them more easily into his clinic and we could also share these more widely with practitioners in the UK”. That was the start of Nutri Advanced.
Not only was their commitment to providing the highest quality supplements evident right from day one, so too was the first class customer service and passion for education that Nutri Advanced has become so well known for. Ken explains, “I vividly remember our very first customer. I drove to the Lake District to meet him in his clinic and show him our supplement range, he placed an order, and I drove back to deliver it in person! We soon realised that many practitioners that we were meeting didn’t have the level of nutrition knowledge to enable them to make best use of the products; they wanted to learn more. That’s why we started running professional education events, and why our commitment to education has continued to this day.”
Commitment to education
Richard Holding a London-based osteopath and kinesiologist has been in practice for 51 years and a customer of Nutri Advanced for 40 years. Richard has also lectured extensively for Nutri over the years too. He remembers first meeting Ken back in 1981; “Ken used to drive up and down the country meeting practitioners and introducing them to these new products. I clearly remember standing in my kitchen having a coffee with him when we met for the first time”. He credits Ken’s commitment to education with influencing the trajectory of his career, “it’s all down to Ken helping me in the beginning; he travelled to the States and invited brilliant pioneering speakers back to the UK. He opened up a really wonderful door of information for me. I’ve a lot to be thankful to him for.”
Fast forward to now and practitioners continue to credit Nutri Advanced with being a driving force for changing the way they do business. Mandy Bonhomme, a Jersey-based nutritional therapist who specialises in group programmes said,
“Running the Nutri Advanced Gut Transformation Programme (GTP) has completely transformed the way I run my business! I’ve moved away from lots of individual consultations, and now dedicate more time to group programmes. This has given me flexibility and freedom along with better control over my diary - I now run my business rather than my business running me! I love the new GTP pack as it feels super professional when I hand it out to groups and clients. And the programme education with Jo Gamble is amazing - I feel like I am learning from the best as she takes you through the supporting science.”
And functional medicine practitioner Jo Gamble, who delivers many of Nutri Advanced’s educational seminars and webinars said, “having had the joy of working with Nutri Advanced for the last 9 years I have been a part of the growth of the education department. Our focus has been not just to bring cutting edge research to our practitioners through our educational lectures and programmes, but even more importantly we have worked to bring clinical application and clinical support to allow our practitioners to utilise the education and to apply to their clinics with confidence. Our 40th year has started with great celebration in us winning The IHCAN Educators Award for Best Business Support Initiative for the programmes. I look forward to being part of the next 40 years!”
Meeting Dr Jeffrey Bland
Nutri’s education series has always been progressive and forward thinking. Since day one, Ken has travelled extensively to listen to new and emerging speakers and invite them back to the UK. “Never stop learning” he says, and to this day, he is incredibly passionate about his own education and sharing this with others, “education is really important to me, and I’ve always enjoyed bringing new seminars, concepts and ideas into the UK”. In 1990 Ken first met Dr Jeffrey Bland, in Burford in The Cotswolds, and from there a lifelong friendship and working relationship was formed. Ken attended the very first meeting of The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) in 1992 and has attended almost every one since. Nutri Advanced became UK distributor for Jeff Bland’s range of specialist functional foods, and Dr Bland has headlined at Nutri Advanced’s annual functional medicine conference almost every year since 1993; most recently in 2019 at ‘The Science of Health’. Here, Dr Bland reminisced about his initial meeting with Ken, “my wife Susan and I were in the Cotswolds about 30 years ago, when we first met you and your wife Caroline. That was the start of this incredible relationship; watching our families grow up, and professionally watching our activities start to develop. The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) was also just starting back then. Thank you Ken, for all these many years, from Burford to here, thanks a million!”
Moving forward with traditional values
It is true that in business you either move forwards or backwards, you can’t stand still. And whilst the company has held on tight to its founding ethos and core values, there has also been significant growth and change over 40 years. The look of the brand has been developed but is still instantly recognisable as Nutri Advanced. It was a ‘new young tree’ that provided the original inspiration for the logo back in 1981, and you’ll still see that tree standing proudly on the products today; a little taller perhaps, yet firmly rooted to the brand. From a founding team of 2 back in 1981, there are now 39 members of the team. Gary Courtenay joined Ken as an owner and director in 1996 to help guide the company’s growth and they still work closely together to this day. He said, “watching Nutri grow over the last 20 years has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been involved with. I am deeply proud of the team that has achieved this. Indeed, it has been a privilege to be a director during this time”.
Navigating challenging times
Over the last few years the company has invested heavily in technology, and whilst no one could have predicted the global events of the last 12 months, the value of these investments quickly became very apparent as the company were able to maintain such a high level of customer service even amid very challenging times.
Sally Stanton, who joined the company as Commercial Director in 2018 recalled how the team quickly adapted amid the challenges of last year, “a stand out moment definitely was the few weeks before covid in March 2020 when it became apparent our business would have to operate differently to survive. The benefits of working in a small business meant we could be nimble, make quick decisions and communicate with everyone. Within the week we had everyone set up to work from home and trained on new equipment / systems, and all our non-customer facing team were trained as additional cover for either a Warehouse Operative or a Customer Service advisor role to manage increased demand. It really felt like this was a moment when the team bonded together to overcome challenge and uncertainty”.
And Gary Courtenay reflected on how the company was able to continue supporting customers during the last year, “it has been humbling to witness just how Nutri Advanced has, through its products and educational initiatives, helped tens of thousands of people during the pandemic”.
The highest quality products
The Nutri Advanced product range has evolved from the early days too, when the business was based exclusively on importing specialist products into the UK. Now, an in-house Product Development team is responsible for creating Nutri Advanced’s own range of products including particular highlights such as the Multi Essentials One-a-Day range of multivitamins and the powdered magnesium MegaMag range. In terms of maintaining the highest quality product range, Ken said, “I’ve never been interested in selling budget supplements; I might have grown a bigger company that way but that has never been my aim. My aim with the business has always been to sell the highest quality supplements that actually work, provide brilliant customer service and the best education. And every time we host an event that’s what people tell me; they say, ‘I want to thank you for being such a great company and what a great team of people you have working for you’.”
Over the last 40 years the products have evolved, the look of the brand has been updated, the team has grown, technology and systems have been upgraded, and the buying experience has changed somewhat (sadly Ken no longer hand delivers every order!!) yet the core values of excellence in customer service, the highest product quality and commitment to education are still exactly the same as they were 40 years ago. And it is testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to this that these values are consistently recognised by customers.
London-based founder of Functional Medicine Associates, Pete Williams said, “Nutri has been like an extended family for all of those 25 years I have been connected to them. Questions are never a problem and they are always happy to help. They have been instrumental for people like me and my team getting to where we have”.
Catherine Barker, an experienced homeopath and functional medicine practitioner who has been in practice for 26 years has been using Nutri Advanced for the last 15 years. She said, “The support I get from the whole team at Nutri Advanced is invaluable; everyone who answers the phone there is so friendly; they are all just lovely people. I really care about my clients and when I ring to ask for advice on supplements from the nutrition team I know they have my client’s best interests at heart; this is really important to me and I always trust their advice. ‘High quality and trustworthy’ – that’s how I’d sum up my experiences of working with Nutri Advanced over the last 15 years.”
Jersey-based practitioner Mandy Bonhomme is keen to congratulate a hard-working team that goes above and beyond to support their customers, “I work on my own (which can be a lonely place at times) and I really appreciate having the nutrition team in the background for support. Customer service is fantastic in general.”
Janet Lech, a Yorkshire-based practitioner has been using Nutri Advanced supplements in her clinic for 18 years and said, “I describe you guys as the Rolls Royce/Bentley of the supplement world.”
And London-based Richard Holding said, “Nutri Advanced have consistently been the only supplement company that I felt I could ask questions to, and they really listen and take time to find out the answer.”
A very big thank you!
And finally, at the end of a challenging year for everyone, and the beginning of a landmark year for Nutri Advanced, founder Ken Eddie reflects on 40 years in business and what the team are looking forward to next.
“I really just want to say a very big thank you to every single member of the team and every single customer. This is where the success of the business lies, not with me, and honestly, this celebration is all about you, not me. The team of people working here really are fantastic and some of our customers have been with us for 25, 30, even 40 years! I am so grateful for the support; without you all this business wouldn’t be here. In terms of what we’re looking forward to, it’s getting back to the face-to-face education events that we love best. I can appreciate the convenience of online education but there’s nothing like meeting up in-person; it’s the foundation of how our business has been built and I think it’s how we are meant to interact as human beings. We’re really looking forward to getting going with these again and seeing you all soon. Thank you once again to everyone for your support and custom over the last 40 years.”
Congratulations to Nutri Advanced! Here’s to the next 40 years and more!
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