ENIVA AT A GLANCE
Sales: $70 million in revenue in 2006, anticipating $100 million in 2007.
International growth: Expanded to Canada, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico and Mexico last year.
Employees: 200 at home office and just under 400,000 distributors in five countries. The company will become one of the top 10 employers in Anoka.
Website: www.eniva .com
A growing business in ... vitamins
- Article by: Lora Pabst
- Star Tribune
- October 20, 2007 - 4:16 PM
Two brothers have grown their liquid-vitamin business from an office in the back of an exercise-equipment outlet store to a 250,000-square-foot campus in Anoka.
Identical twins Andrew and Benjamin Baechler, 30, own Eniva Corp., which makes products such as salad oils, cleaning products, athletic waters and dietary supplements. Selling goods through almost 400,000 home-based distributors -- "just like Mary Kay or Avon, but much cooler," Andrew said -- the company has grown in 10 years to almost $70 million in revenue in 2006.
This summer, the Baechlers secured a deal to buy a 26-acre site and building at the entrance to Anoka's Enterprise Park and build a corporate headquarters. They closed on the property a few weeks ago and will begin moving in at the end of the month.
"This project really was a great example of private business and public government coming together to promote economic growth and serve and meet public need," Andrew said.
With 200 employees now spread among three offices in Blaine, and last year's international expansion to four more countries, Eniva had outgrown its space and needed to prepare to add almost 200 local employees in the next four years. The city had been looking for a tenant for the high-profile property in its business park.
Tim Cruikshank, Anoka's city manager, said city officials were excited to see a growing company interested in redeveloping the corner at Hwy. 10 and Thurston Avenue.
"They are an international company," Cruikshank said. "They have a lot of employees who will be coming in and out of those headquarters."
The Baechler brothers are planning to demolish 200,000 square feet of the 432,000-square-foot building. The remaining space will be renovated to include corporate offices, research and development labs, and room for manufacturing and distribution. Because Eniva is upgrading the property so much, the city agreed to a deal in which the company will not be responsible for city tax increases from the remodeling over the next 10 years, up to $500,000.
"When they remodel that facility, it will be very expensive and it's going to add a lot of value to the property for the mutual good of the city and the redevelopment of Eniva," Cruikshank said.
For the Baechler twins, success is measured in the number of distributors who are able to operate their own businesses through Eniva.
"We are really trying to build something that adds value to the community and is also a strong business entity," Andrew Baechler said.
Julie Arens of Burnsville is one of Eniva's home-based distributors and has worked in network marketing for 20 years. Over the past four years, she built her business from her home to her own office with two full-time employees and thousands of distributors nationwide. She tallies sales in the tens of thousands of dollars a month through home and office parties, selling to individuals, and training her distributors weekly. But she attributes her success to Eniva's products.
"With Eniva, they are in charge of all the raw materials, resources, research and development," she said. "That makes me feel very comfortable."
Eniva's core product, Vibe, is a liquid nutritional supplement that Benjamin Baechler developed and introduced in 2003. He received his medical degree in 2005.
Despite competing in an industry that is often questioned for making claims of having a "miracle" product, the Baechlers emphasize that their products undergo quality testing and clinical and research studies.
"We base the appeal of our products in science, not a special herb or juice," Andrew said.
Lora Pabst 612-673-4628
Lora Pabst firstname.lastname@example.org
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