[caption id="attachment_84623" align="alignleft" width="315"] Stacey Kelly Egide and Mark Egide[/caption]
NOVATO -- The duo behind the successful natural personal-care line Avalon Natural Products, now Avalon Organics, are enjoying the success of their new venture, Novato-based Andalou Naturals, which makes personal care products derived from fruit stem cells. Topping the charts for sales of such products has prompted the company to set up a larger operations and distribution center in Petaluma.
Sales are set to end 2013 50 percent higher than those of 2012, according to President Mark Egide. Scan data service SPINS, which focuses on natural and organic products sold at about 1,100 retailers, ranked Andalou Naturals sales in the natural skin-care segment for the period ending Oct. 26 No. 1 for the previous four weeks, No. 5 for 24 weeks and No. 6 for 52 weeks.
"There is a lot of buzz around fruit stem cells and anti-aging," Mr. Egide said. "We've won a number of awards. We have done clinical evaluations, so we know it works. We have great packaging and an affordable price. All that resonates with the consumer."
For similar reasons as with natural and organic foods stores, natural personal-care products sales are growing at two to three times the rate for conventional products over health concerns about ingredients such as parabens and sulfates, he said.
[caption id="attachment_84624" align="alignleft" width="315"]
Andalou Naturals makes 66 skin, hair and body care products.[/caption]
Retail pricing for Andalou Naturals products is $13--$25 for skin-care products, $10 for hair care and $10--$14 for body care. The largest sellers of the products are Whole Foods Market and Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy. Exports are expanding quickly, now reaching 14 countries, according to Mr. Egide.
Chief Executive Officer Stacey Egide and Mr. Egide started Avalon in 1989 and sold it to a private-equity group in 2002 and left in 2005. Hain Celestial Group acquired Avalon in 2007 and relocated it two years later.
"Stacey and I had semiretired for six years after selling Avalon," Mr. Egide said.
Andalou, whose name means "emergence" or "path of light," started shipping products in March 2011. About 95 percent of the product is made in Northern California from "natural" and certified organic and fair-trade ingredients.
The company operates out of a 3,000-square-foot office in Novato and 6,000-square-foot warehouse in south Petaluma. The company has 17 employees, including four regional salespeople who work remotely and three in the Petaluma warehouse.
On Nov. 5, Andalou leased 14,300 square feet of warehouse and office space from Petaluma Business Center at 1129 Industrial Ave. The goal is to consolidate warehouse and distribution functions into 10,500 square feet of newly secured warehouse space in mid-December, according to Mr. Egide.
Interestingly, it's the same building Avalon operated from a decade ago. That's fitting, because Andalou is using the same family-owned lab to make the product as for Avalon.
Meridian Commercial agent Nick Egide represented his parents' company in the new lease deal. Niels von Doepp of Cassidy Turley represented the property owner.