By Jack Wu, California Business Journal correspondent
Right when you exit the 101 Freeway off Hampshire in Westlake Village, Calif., the first thing you’ll notice turning up Willow Lane to Natren’s corporate headquarters is the fancy Ferrari dealership on your right. And you try not crashing as you spy all the fancy cars on its lot.
According to Yordan and Natasha Trenev, the founders and owners of Natren, Ferrari is there because of them. So is the new health club. Considering that neither of them were there before the Trenev’s put over $6 million into enhancing their 30,000 square foot facility over the last 36 years, it’s no surprise. Then entire “neighborhood” has seen rejuvenation and it’s all because of the Trenev’s pure will and desire.
A simple Google search on the term “probiotics” will make it obvious that it comprises a multi-billion dollar industry — with Southern California being the epicenter.
And a simple Google search on Natren and its founder Natasha Trenev will tell you all about her life story of being the pioneer of probiotics, so we don’t have to cover that.
But their story is a little bit different than most. While yes, they are in the probiotics business for the money, turning down a $10 million incentive from the state of North Dakota to move their operations there would indicate that they really aren’t in the business just for money.
When sitting down with them, the very, very first thing that Yordan Trenev told me was “We are about quality, not about the money.”
Over the next hour, that was the recurring theme. Quality, quality, and quality. Coupled with their desire for “leaving a legacy of health” to how they “live from money, not for money” and wanting to “leave a legacy with our pharmaceutical quality plant and the exceptional health benefits of Natren probiotics.”
The plant, as well as its probiotic products, are inspected and monitored three separate times during production using the highest “Swiss and German Pharmaceutical Standards,” not by Natren’s laboratory, but by independent laboratories before they are encapsulated, packaged and sent to the stores.
According to Yordan and Natasha, their quest for the highest quality probiotics is primarily driven by the fact that over 95.97% of the probiotic supplements are not even made by the people who sell and distribute them, with no quality control, no oversight and no concern for any true health benefits.
It is because of these “garage” businesses that the probiotics industry gets its black eye.
So Natren and the Trenevs are putting their money where their mouth is.
Taking a tour through their plant will show that there are no expenses spared. Everyone wears booties over their shoes and most of the separate rooms have masked employees carefully going about their jobs. The floors and walls are sparkling clean, which Yordan is very proud to constantly point out as the employees work around us.
And it is through the Trenevs’ pure will and desire that this plant has gotten to where it is at today, as evidenced by their spectacular new production building in the City of Westlake Village.
However, when you meet Natasha and Yordan, there is no doubt that their resolve in producing pharmaceutical grade quality probiotics will ultimately show in the excellent health results of their numerous customers, not only in the United States, but in many countries around the world.
So when both say that their 3 ½ – decade long quest to build the highest-quality plant to make the highest-quality probiotic supplements is all about leaving a legacy of health and quality, you believe them.
It’s not about the money for them, otherwise they would have taken the $10 million to build that same plant at a fraction of the price in North Dakota.
And yet the Trenevs are there every day, over 12 hours a day for 36 years to make sure that their pure will and desire to produce the absolute highest quality probiotics get fulfilled.
It’s all about that “Legacy of Health.”
3105 Willow Lane
Westlake Village, CA 91361