Nature’s Sunshine founders and leadership celebrated the opening of its new headquarters in north Lehi, and after spending the last two months moving, they hope they found a permanent home.
“We’ve moved a lot, and hopefully this will be the last building,” said Kristine Hughes, co-founder and vice-chairman of the board of directors.
As the Hughes family grew Nature’s Sunshine over the past 46 years, the nutritional supplement direct selling business occupied various locations to house its manufacturing, distribution, research and development and corporate employees. The new building consolidates the company’s corporate and commercial operations — housed in two different buildings in Lehi and Pleasant Grove — into one building. And does so more efficiently, according to Pat O'Hara, chief human resources officer.
O’Hara said by combining the two operations into one, they actually reduced the square footage needed for their offices, while upping efficiency. The two buildings took up 87,000 square feet, where as the new one uses 61,000. They now house 10 percent more people in 30 percent less space, O’Hara said.
“It’s not that we downsized, we are just utilizing the space so much better,” Hughes said.
The Hughes Center for Research and Innovation, where chemists and doctors test Nature’s Sunshine products and formulas, is actually bigger in the new building than in its previous location. Clinton Dahlberg, executive director of research and development, said the space allows Nature’s Sunshine scientists to continue studies on how supplements are metabolized in the body on a molecular level.
“We’re able to work with ingredients that naturally occur in the diet, and run clinical studies on them,” Dahlberg said.
“One of our differentiators is our science,” O’Hara added.
U.S. Rep. Mia Love lauded the company at Tuesday’s celebration, not only for the economic engine it’s been for four decades, but also for its quality products.
“Nutritional supplements are what get me up and going. Being an avid runner and a mom, nutritional supplements are a big part of my life,” Love said, adding that the nutritional wellness industry can benefit people’s lives. “You were the first to encapsulate herbs, or as my son would put it, ‘make it easier to swallow grass.’ What you built here is incredible and special.”
Nature’s Sunshine employs about 600 employees in Utah and across the nation, and lists 217,200 active distributors worldwide. The new corporate office in Lehi utilizes two and a half floors of the Lone Peak Plaza building on Bluegrass Boulevard. The new space allowed the company to add a gym, a basketball and pickleball court, a game room, break rooms, natural lighting and open workspaces.
“It’s just a much better employee experience,” O’Hara said.
The company will still maintain its manufacturing and call center location in Spanish Fork.