Today is our 33rd birthday! Where has the time gone? We would love to share with you a trip down memory lane and share some throwbacks, the product’s that have come a long way, our family, and where we are today! This article is written by daughter Ellie.
Throwback to 1988
Back in 1988 – Rob & Lynda shared a vision of supplying hand-picked natural health products. Rob’s own health was a major contributing factor for choosing this path. In the 1990’s they developed their own retail brands ‘NZHF’ and ‘Kiwi Natural Health and established some great distributors to sell their brand around the world, the export market continued to grow each year as the world’s demand for natural ingredients increased. The business grew, and they moved from a home office to a “real office” where Rob had his diary, a fax machine, and a small team of staff. He became well known for handwriting each fax he wanted his receptionist to send out on his behalf, as he didn’t know how to use a computer.
Computer Night School
Rob & Lynda decided a few years later that they needed to ‘get with the times’ so they attended night school for computer training. Us kids will never forget the night they got home from their first session, we asked what they had learnt in which they replied, ‘how to turn the computer on’. They were so proud. Rob now has 2 computer screens and is doing his own emails – oh how far they have come!
Now let’s head into the 2000’s
In 2008, two new brands, ‘KNH’ and ‘Dr. Bee’ was developed for the growing export market and in 2014, after son Sam returned from living in Perth, Australia, the Manuka South brand was born. The Dr. Bee brand had met some new restrictive legislation and Rob and Sam worked together to discontinue Dr. Bee and this how the ‘Manuka South’ journey began. This brand was developed using the best-formulated science available, and the most up-to-date knowledge and resources to create a Premium Bee and Mānuka Honey range available to the world.
Then came the opening of our retail store
When Rob & Lynda had their first office, they noticed that customers from the street would walk in asking if they could purchase the products, so they opened a ‘retail area’ to be available to sell products to customers.
This grew over the years not only in customer volume but product development so they moved out of the small rental space and built their first commercial building in which they included a large, beautiful retail store that was full of our products and other incredible health brands.
Since then, Manuka South and NZHF have continued to expand as new ingredients have been developed. Over the last 33 years, we have had over 13,000 happy customers, we have developed over 80 products, and we’ve had many great team members.
What were the first product’s that were developed?
The first product Lynda & Rob started with was Shark cartilage and Green Lipped Mussel powder. Two incredible natural products that have been a part of the New Zealand Health Food journey for a very long time. We still sell the Green Lipped Mussel capsules today!
New Zealand Health Food Throat Lozenges was also a product that we developed early on. The first recipe was propolis throat lozenges with active Dr. Bee honey, mint flavour. To see the packaging then, and compare it to what we offer now, it is amazing to see how far our design and product have come!
The NZHF Team All Under The Same Roof
The NZHF family includes many departments these days, such as sales, marketing, operations, production, accounts, and tech, all under one roof based in our family hometown, Christchurch, New Zealand. Our small but effective team works together to deliver a high level of customer service and supply from the ground up. From our factory and logistics team right through to our online Customer Service and Wholesale Teams, every member of our “NZHF family” works hard to ensure that we give the very best level of service to our customers.
A True Family Business
Since its inception, New Zealand Health Food Company has been a ‘family business. In fact, Rob’s very own mother Joan played an active part in the business both as a mentor and in production for many years and retired at the age of 82.
Rob and Lynda’s daughter Ellie is part of the Marketing team, son Sam is the Sales Manager and Selina, Rob & Lynda’s other daughter works in our Warehouse. We are learning all aspects of the company and continuing what we hope is a long family tradition.
By involving all three generations, Rob & Lynda have created a warm, supportive, and a unique work environment.
A Message From Lynda & Rob
Reaching another milestone on NZHF journey prompts time to reflect on the highs and the lows along the way.
Life is never a straight line, neither is business, that is why it is not for the faint hearted. We love what we do and the team around us.
Special thanks to my family for their unwavering support.
Happy Birthday Team