The herbal dietary supplement market has grown over the years, and right along with it, RidgeCrest Herbals, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, has developed into one of the most vital herbal supplements makers in the natural products industry. For the past 20 years, the company has used an eclectic approach to create multiple effective natural remedies to help with people’s health challenges. Always interested in getting the best results for their customers, RidgeCrest Herbals continues to design high-quality herbal products that fit specific needs.
RidgeCrest Herbals was co-founded by Clyde StClair, an industry veteran with more than three decades of experience in supplement manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing under his belt. StClair and co-founder Paul Warnock—who had a finance and accounting background—were working with a California-based company that had acquired the Creative Marketing line of herbal products. The pair saw a void in the market that needed to be filled: complex, multi-ingredient herbal supplements that were effective, high-quality and available for purchase over the counter. At the time, such herbal products were often only available from a naturopath or other natural healthcare providers.
The pair turned several professional herbal supplements into products geared for over-the-counter use, with ClearLungs being the first launch. The supplement became a best seller for the company, and still tops the charts today.
RidgeCrest’s roots in the health professional/medical world have oriented the company toward results, and the firm also has a unique take on formulation. Says Matt Warnock, company president and son of Paul Warnock, “We have always had a very eclectic approach. We don’t use only the traditional Western herbs. We also use traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy and modern nutritional science. We are always interested in getting the best results for our customers, wherever that path may take us.”
Whereas the first generation of the business’s leaders was more marketing and management oriented, the second generation (which not only includes Matt Warnock, but also Jared StClair, consultant and son of Clyde StClair) is highly focused on formulation. “In the second generation, we have developed those skills,” says Warnock. “Almost all of our recent formulations, and all of the really successful ones like Adrenal Fatigue Fighter and Anxiety Free, have been developed internally.”
The Retailer Connection
RidgeCrest’s mission of providing quality products goes beyond manufacturing the products themselves. As RidgeCrest continues to focus on making the best products it can, the company is always working to strengthen its bond with retailers. With its roots in natural products retailing from the StClair family and other staff members, the firm knows such stores are special and deserve special attention. “We strongly believe that this industry responds well to a ‘high touch’ approach featuring friendly and knowledgeable retail staff. You can’t get that kind of service from an impersonal Web site or big box store,” said Warnock.
In an effort to continue its campaign to help natural products retailers compete effectively against the big box stores, the company launched the RidgeCrest Herbals Summit Retailer program.
The RidgeCrest Herbal Training Courses are designed to help retailers understand the company’s philosophy and its products. “This is part of our program to educate and develop retailers. We know that stores that carry more of our products, and are well trained in how to use and present them, can serve more of their customers, and get better results,” Warnock said.
The training consists of four modules, which are all divided into units, and requires a perfect 100% score from its participants. Moreover, the quizzes are designed to be instructive and entertaining, and also offer prizes and rewards.
RidgeCrest’s training program is intended to build trust between shoppers and retailers as well as with their products. However, RidgeCrest is also willing to suggest other companies’ products. “We are happy to recommend a competitor’s product if that is what would help the customer best. There are a lot of great products out there, and we can’t make them all,” Warnock said. “We often recommend things that we use and love ourselves. That is one of the best parts of the common human experience, helping others when we can.”
Keeping on Track
Warnock says RidgeCrest Herbals was founded to help “make the world a better and more natural place to live, to ‘do well by doing good.’” The company’s strategy for staying on this path is to continue offering great formulas, to cultivate its staff’s desire to learn and improve and to continue to focus on its retailer relationships. “We also try very hard to stay close to retailers, who in turn stay close to their regular customers, and I think that helps keep us on track,” he states. WF
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2014