Many people turn to doctors or prescription drugs to manage their weight, stress, cardiovascular issues and countless other conditions. But Nature’s Sunshine has a different, healthier, more natural solution to everyday health challenges. 

Nature’s Sunshine began 43 years ago after Gene Hughes developed a nagging stomach condition and began taking cayenne pepper to help with his symptoms. Although this significantly improved his symptoms, he found the substance difficult to consume by the spoonful. Soon his wife, Kristine Hughes, suggested putting the powder into a capsule for easier ingestion. Thus, the first company to encapsulate herbs in the United States was born. Nature’s Sunshine has since grown from a small, family owned business to one of the leading health and wellness companies in the world.

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The Martin Bauer Group’s roots go back nearly 100 years when company founder Martin Bauer started collecting herbs from fields and selling them at the local market, President and CEO Richard Enticott says of the company’s early days.

Martin Bauer founded the company in 1924. He started off collecting, drying and cutting locally sourced botanicals and selling them in the domestic market. Business accelerated rapidly in the post-war years, and today the company is a leading manufacturer and worldwide supplier of hundreds of teas, extracts and botanical ingredients to the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries, Enticott says.

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Picture yourself on a road trip across the country. You pull off the highway and stop for gas at a Citgo. When you go in to pay, suddenly the zesty smell of Cajun chicken fills your nose. You weren’t expecting to buy chicken at the gas station’s convenience store, but the tantalizing display of chicken and buttery biscuits is too irresistible. And that is Krispy Krunchy Chicken’s goal.

“We believe that 50 percent of our volume comes from people walking into a convenience store with no intention of eating,” Executive Vice President Dan Shapiro says. “We try to merchandise it so that he sees it, he smells it and it looks great. And all of the sudden, he realizes he’s hungry.”

Neal Onebane, president and founder of Krispy Krunchy Chicken, purchased a chicken program from an old time convenience store chicken supplier in 1989. But he wanted to master the merchandising of it. Taking inspiration from how Popeye’s Chicken displays its product, he developed a hot food case with grates at the top to better display his new chicken product rather than having it rest inside pans.  

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When it comes to warehousing and logistics services, East Coast Warehouse believes it’s not a transaction business; rather, it’s a relationship business. The New Jersey-based leader in refrigerated and ambient warehousing wants to have a close relationship with customers so they feel as if East Coast Warehouse is an extension of their own team. “We try to take away that vendor/supplier type of mentality by going above and beyond,” Vice President of Sales Rich Coppola says.

East Coast Warehouse offers customers one point of contact and one point of concentration for distribution services. “We provide that one-stop shop that allows our customers to spend less administrative time on the supply chain,” CEO Jamie Overley says. “We’re so important to our customers and we relish and we value that relationship. We realize the responsibility we have to our customers. And that’s our focus, being able to execute on that vision.”

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Keeping your aging legacy retail systems running, especially when they’re locked into a proprietary mainframe, can be a challenge for established retailers trying to compete in today’s market. Legacy systems are almost always expensive; they make modernization and innovation prohibitively complex; and things get especially risky when the people who know how it all works start to retire.

Migrating to a new, standards-based technology environment can add tremendous value and improve the bottom line because today’s commoditized systems benefit from broader competition, which keeps costs low and innovation high. Delivering turnkey migrations of mission-critical, legacy retail systems to a modern, cloud or on-premises target environment is the specialty of Asysco, Inc.

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Within the walls of Vanity Shop of Grand Forks Inc., associates do not work in silos towards their own agendas. Instead, “It’s a wonderful environment and terrific place to work,” Vice President of Marketing, Digital and Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer Mary Miller says.

“We are working toward the betterment of Vanity,” she says, noting that its marketing team works well with its merchandising partners. “Honestly, it makes it very enjoyable to work there.”

Based in Fargo, N.D., the privately owned, mall-based specialty retailer operates locations that sell affordable women’s clothing, including tops, dresses, jeans, bottoms and other accessories. Vanity was incorporated in 1969 and has since expanded to 143 stores in 27 states.

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In business for more than 65 years, Rye Beach Pharmacy is a full-service, family owned pharmacy that has served its community since 1946. Today, the company is an independent pharmacy that specializes in patient counseling, compounded medications for humans and pets, Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), nutritional supplements, natural health products, custom fitted stockings, homecare aids and customer service.

“We’ve been able to endure thanks to employees that care and go the extra mile, and our customers recognize and appreciate that,” President Ken GiaQuinto says. 

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Founded in 1920, Mason Brothers is a family owned, full-line wholesale grocery distributor. Today, the company is a supplier of goods and services to stores in six states, having built a strong reputation based on customer service and satisfaction. 

“Our marketshare continues to grow,” co-owner Ric Harrison says. “We have expanded to serve a base of more than 400 stores within an eight-hour drive of our headquarters.”

Customer Centered

Mason Brothers is committed to helping its customers succeed. Working with independent retailers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, Mason Brothers offers an extensive product line of more than 20,900 SKUs at competitive pricing, with cross-docking capabilities of another 20,000. 

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