Insights & Highlights from the Natural Products Expo West
My takeaway from one of the most rigorous weeks anyone in business can experience- After being an entrepreneur for 37 years and doing billions of dollars in deals, the Natural Products Expo West is like no other. In some ways, it feels like a movie depicting the open-air markets in Rome in the days of Caesar. Thousands of vendors hawking their goods of every type. Gladiators of commerce. Exhilarating. Having spent most of my career doing conventions on construction, real estate, and finance, I came to find that those conferences were dominated by big companies and the people on the floor were 95% employees. The special thing about Expo West is that I’ve never seen so many passionate entrepreneurs in one place. People who mortgaged their houses to fulfill a dream. People who are passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. So many with the story “my kid was celiac or had autoimmune issues.” So many wonderful mothers who created their product solely for their kid or family member and turned it into a business. While many will fail, and many get by, it is events like Expo West where they get discovered! As a guy who’s not the healthiest, (I drink like a fish and smoke like a chimney) going gluten-free 3 years ago changed my life. Most notably my arthritis pain went from 10 to 0 and my general health and sleeping habits have improved greatly. (I still need to work on the smoking and drinking but, one step at a time.) A few years ago, I tasted a product called GeeFree, the only all natural, non-GMO, gluten free pastry sheet on the market. GeeFree also makes Franks in a Blanket, Spanakopita, Chicken Pot Pie, Breakfast and Pizza Pockets and more. I loved the product so much that I decided to buy the company. What I didn’t know and only found out at my second Expo West experience was I was joining a brotherhood and sisterhood that is truly one of a kind. All sharing the same passion for wanting to provide the world with healthier food and all willing to help and share their experience. Such a wonderful group of people. Such a great event. SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR. POWER ON! KEEP THE FAITH. HEALTHY FOOD WILL PREVAIL!
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