Elwood Richard, founder of NOW Foods and the retail chain Fruitful Yield, died April 7; he was 85. Richard opened his first natural health food store, the Health House in 1962 and the chain, now renamed Fruitful Yield, has 13 locations in the Chicago suburbs. He also started NOW Foods in 1968 after developing the first protein supplement and the family-run company now offers more than 1,400 SKUs of specialty food, dietary supplements, sports nutrition and personal care products.
Although he retired as CEO in 2005, he remained involved in the business and industry as the NOW chairman of the board and a member of the NOW advocacy, strategy and environmental teams.
"El was a truly great man and a great entrepreneur. He was always passionate about the health food industry, and the success of the NOW brand is a testimony to his vision, leadership and dedication to our mission and our industry," said former NOW CEO Al Powers. "He will always be remembered for his love, generosity, and kindness that touched the lives of everyone at NOW. He was the heart and soul of NOW Foods."