2700 Rydin Road, Unit D
Richmond, CA 94804
phone: (510) 558-7100
fax: (510) 525-9332
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 5PM PST
Our Inspiring Story
Owned and operated by two sisters, Ann and Kathy Saunders, Nectarine is the private label division of the parent company A.K.A. Saunders, Inc., a natural bath and body care company that also produces a branded retail line under the tradename TerraNova.
The company was founded in Berkeley in 1970 by Jane Saunders, Ann and Kathy's mother. Inspired by the local "counterculture," Jane had a bright idea. She conceived the notion of creating alternative bath and body care products that reflected the emerging interest in natural ingredients and environmental concerns.
The idea was simple and clean: Jane wanted to make products that embodied the political and social values of her time and place --products made of pure, natural, biodegradable ingredients; products that didn't require a lot of wasteful packaging; products that came in bottles customers could return for refilling or recycling.
With her sister-in-law and $750 in savings, Jane went into business. In a car repair garage converted into a mini mall, Jane's company was born as a little store, The Body Shop, named in homage to the building's original use. The Body Shop made 16 tons of soap that first year, and custom cut it into bars from large slabs with fragrances like Strawberry Yogurt, Cucumber, Chocolate and Patchouli.
The store and its other products, including body lotions, creams, shampoos and conditioners, all custom-scented from little vials of fragrance essence displayed in the store, was an immediate hit with Berkeley residents and the tour buses full of people coming to look at the lively and spirited society flourishing along Telegraph Avenue. Within two years, The Body Shop had grown to six retail stores in the Bay Area and a national wholesale business. What had started as a little dream idea had grown into an innovative and prosperous two-family business.
"It was always most important for the product to be fun and good -- really good. We wanted it to be something our customers could use, not just buy," explained Jane. "I didn't want to create a product that cost a lot and didn't do anything." Thus her marketing and product philosophy was born -right out of her sense of fair play and good value. Happily, her principles have stood the test of time.
In 1979, Jane and her sister-in-law split the business; Jane and her daughters, both grown up now and working in the company, assumed ownership of the wholesale division; the retail stores would be operated separately by their former partner. Then, in 1988, The Body Shop trademark was purchased by a British company of the same name that sought to enter the United States market.
As a result of the name sale, the business was renamed. The parent company, with its fifteen employees, operates under the name A.K.A. Saunders and has two divisions: Nectarine, our private label division, offers more than 250 products that are sold in bulk for repackaging, relabeling and custom scenting to over 1000 toiletries and ecology-minded "green" bath and body care boutiques, spas and beauty brands. Nectarine also creates customized product lines for wholesalers, retailers, resorts and spas. Terranova wholesales over 100 branded products to department stores, bath and gift shops, plus beauty supply centers all over the country and internationally as well.
The body care business has changed a lot since 1970, but the Saunders' business philosophy hasn't. From the beginning, Jane - who passed away a few years ago - chose not to compete with large, mainstream companies that spend as much to launch a new fragrance as her business billed in a year. Kathy explains their mission this way, "Our goals have always been simple. We wanted to make a good product, which we learned to do by listening to our customers. We wanted to be mindful of the earth and its resources, which we are. And we wanted to enjoy our work. That seems more than enough to us."
And customers concur. One store owner, who has been buying from the Saunders since 1972, explains his loyalty this way: "I depend on Nectarine to provide first-rate products that are natural, healthy, biodegradable and fun! Their fragrances are stars -- clean, fresh, and wearable." Another longtime customer singles out Nectarine for its innovative formulations: "Jane Saunders was buying Jojoba from Native American growers thirty five years ago - and now the majors have caught up with her. But her products are better, and that's why my customers keep coming back for more."
Jane explained Nectarine's success simply: "Back in 1970, people were just beginning to be interested in natural ingredients. Today we have hundreds of retailers selling our products to customers who like Nectarine's formulations because of their appeal to both the sense and the mind. As people have become more educated about caring for their skin and for the earth, we are there for them with a full line of natural, healthy alternatives. We continue to operate on the principle that simpler is better."
Nectarine remains a small company and prides itself in offering individual assistance in creating a program that fits your company's needs. As an industry pioneer, we have an impeccable history of safety and integrity. Our expert cosmetic chemists develop and produce formulas made with wholesome and effective natural ingredients following the strictest standards of quality and safety, and with no animal testing. Our long standing reputation speaks to the rigid quality control standards we always observe.
Ann and Kathy Saunders