In 1971, Arran Stephens and a business partner opened Canada's first
large organic supermarket, LifeStream. Founded on the ideal of serving
delicious, wholesome foods grown and processed in harmony with nature,
the store soon expanded into milling, baking, making muesli, granolas,
alfalfa sprouts, nut butters, energy bars, and wholesale distribution.
Within a few years, the LifeStream line had grown to include a wide
range of products, including both natural and organic whole grain foods
and soy-based vegetarian entrees. The company even published its own
vegetarian cookbook, which sold over 125,000 copies. Annual sales at
LifeStream reached $9 million, making the line one of
natural food brands at the time. LifeStream sales continued to grow to
$12 million, but an awkward partnership led to the sale of the company
in 1981. It eventually was acquired by Kraft/Phillip Morris.
Then in 1985, Arran and his wife,
started a new venture christened Nature’s Path, from the back
natural foods restaurant. The company’s first product,
Manna Bread, debuted at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
Organic Multigrain, Multigrain & Raisin, and Millet Rice Flakes
were the very first Nature’s Path cereals and remain as
ever. By 1989, building on the success of its cereals, the company had
grown 800%. To meet demand, acreage was bought and a 54,000 square foot
organic processing plant was built in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.
This was the first third-party certified organic cereal plant in the
world. Later, ten years after starting Nature's Path, the Stephens
family purchased back LifeStream from Kraft. Since, the company has
continue to expand its facilities and the brands and products it
offers--adding waffles, additional cereals, granola and energy bars,
flaxseed meal, baking mixes, and more.