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The Beginnings of a Company Culture (press release)

Saturday, May 28, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: health products, Kettle foods, health news

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Cameron Healy, founder of Kettle Foods, got his start in the natural food industry in 1972 by founding the Golden Temple Bakery in Eugene. At the time, Golden Temple Bakery produced granola and whole grain breads, and distributed them in natural food stores throughout the Willamette Valley. The bakery was created out of the local yoga community. "It was an alternative food network and lifestyle," said Healy.

When Healy was 22, he branched out and started Golden Temple Natural Food Distributors in connection with the bakery. It was during a period when many natural food brands were being created. "I entered the industry at the beginning stage of a wave," said Healy. During that time, Healy gained a great deal of exposure to the natural food industry. He worked with charismatic founders and began to see and understand how they created and branded their products.

Healy stayed in distribution for five years. But by the late 1970s, he had a desire to create and manufacture brands of his own. In 1978, Healy started Kettle Foods in Salem, Oregon. He had learned a great deal during his time with Golden Temple, and combined this experience with his community oriented and family-style approach to business. He kept the company privately owned to do things his own philosophical way.

He started with no working capital in a beat up van, selling cheese and roasted nut and trail mixes to natural food stores along Interstate 5. "I had no master plan, but I knew that the priority for quality lifestyles and values would be growing into more mass markets as baby boomers matured," said Healy. "I wanted to develop products of natural integrity that could be flexible in both the natural food and mainstream markets."

His vision led to the development of Kettle™ brand Chips in 1982. At that time,

these were the only natural, hand cooked potato chips in the Western US, thus pioneering what now is a multi-million dollar segment in the potato chip industry. In keeping with Healy's vision to create quality in every aspect of the company, Kettle Foods used only premium Russet potatoes grown in the Pacific Northwest on small family-owned farms. The Russet's high natural sugars give Kettle™ brand Chips their distinctly darker color and fuller potato flavor.

In the fall of 1980, Kettle Foods began production of Almond Butter under the brand name Roaster Fresh®. Eventually, the line was expanded into Kettle™ brand Roaster Fresh®, which includes Cashew, Hazelnut, Sesame, and Sunflower Butters in addition to Almond.

Continued growth and expansion took place between 1984 and 1988 with the addition of new cooking and packaging equipment. Production capacities were increased to meet the expanding popularity of Kettle Foods' products, but commitment to quality never wavered.

In 1987, Healy and his son took a six week motorcycle sabbatical in Europe and researched European specialty food markets. What they found was a unique niche for their hand-cooked chips. Timothy Meyer, a native Oregonian living in London, became involved at this time helping to found Kettle Foods, Ltd. in Norwich in 1988. With his broad international business experience and strength in financial disciplines, Meyer's role quickly grew to that of Director and Principal in the overall Kettle Foods organization. In 1989, the UK began production of Kettle™ brand Chips. "We dreamed it and Kettle™ brand Chips quickly became a major hit," said Healy.

In the spring of 1992, a new building was completed in Salem to add much needed office space and to manufacture a new brand of premium tortilla chips. Kettle™ brand Tias were made from scratch using organically grown corn and a patented process of adding sprouted corn to1 the masa. An improved package design in early 1997 saw this brand evolve into the present Kettle™ brand Tortilla Chips.

In 1995, in response to demands for a truly great tasting low fat potato chip, Kettle Foods introduced Kettle™ brand Krisps Baked Potato Chips. Using an innovative cooking system in which whole Russet potatoes are twice baked, Kettle™ brand Krisps have redefined the baked chip category.

In the late 1990s, a long held dream of building a new headquarters facility in Salem began to take shape. Having seriously outgrown its capacity at its founding location, plans were undertaken to construct a custom built facility nearby, at a site along Salem's Mill Creek. Kettle Foods snack lines moved to the new headquarters in the fall of 1999, while the nut roasting operation remained at the original site. The new facility brought unity and efficiency to the production processes and expressed in its architecture Kettle Foods' commitment to handcrafting and premium quality.

From its inception, Kettle Foods has lived its values and portrayed them in its products. Healy continues as President and Board Member supporting Kettle Foods management in keeping the unique company culture and its values.

"I believe in a conscious evolution in our society, where people are consciously seeking to live a more qualified lifestyle," explained Healy. "I feel it's important to help people cultivate values that are about integrity, respect, honesty and love. I have found that the workplace is a great environment to demonstrate this."

Today, Kettle Foods is an international company with more than 650 employees, and manufacturing sites in Salem, Oregon, and Norwich, United Kingdom. Its products can be found in the United States, Canada, Japan, Guam, and Western Europe. The company's focus for the years to come is to continue the tradition of innovation and quality that have been the basis for its success over the years.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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