It was a celebration of everything Vitamix. This summer, the company’s employees, retirees, board members and members of its founding family came together to celebrate the grand opening of the Barnard Homestead, Vitamix Museum and new event center in Olmsted Township. With more than 600 people in attendance, it was a fitting tribute to the venerable Ohio brand, which was founded by the Barnard family more than 100 years ago.
“Vitamix has grown to be an iconic brand with an impressive legacy,” says Steve Laserson. “It started in 1921 with one purpose: to improve health and well-being by making it easy, fun and delicious for everyone to live healthier lives. That commitment to whole food health, product development and marketing innovation continues today, as we’ve grown to serve customers in more than 130 countries.”
The Barnard family’s passion for whole food nutrition started after discovering a natural solution for a family member’s chronic illness. The family became vegetarians, cutting sugar and caffeine from their diets. After seeing the benefits from that lifestyle change, they became believers in the power of whole foods.
By the late 1930s, the Barnard family dedicated themselves to healthy eating as a part of their life’s work. The family’s mail-order health and vitamin business grew into the Natural Foods Institute. When Papa Barnard, the family patriarch, recognized that a powerful blender could make healthy foods taste great, the Vitamix was created.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Vitamix worked hard to educate the public about the differences between calories and nutrition. Today, the Vitamix Foundation pursues the elimination of diet-driven illnesses through the consumption of plant-based whole foods. Vitamix is still committed to whole food health through the continuous innovation of next-generation blending machines that make nutrition easy, efficient and delicious for people at home or in professional kitchens.
“Our goal going forward is to tap into the vast potential of the brand by infusing creative energy and an innovative mindset into our greatest asset — our workforce,” Laserson adds. “That is how we will continue to grow and meet our mission of promoting health and wellness.”
A Stroll Back in Time
The Vitamix Museum displays more than 100 years of artifacts honoring the company’s roots. The museum pays homage to its visionaries and invites attendees to experience the company’s story firsthand. As visitors enter the museum, they immediately begin a walk through time that starts in the original corporate building that dates back to 1948. All four galleries in the museum provide a historical view into the company’s roots in Olmsted Township, its commitment to whole food health, product and marketing innovation and a look into the future.
The Barnard Homestead, accessible to Barnard family members and Vitamix employees and on a limited basis to the public, houses family artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the Barnard family throughout the years.
The event center, with a capacity of 90-plus people, was built from the company’s historic log cabin, which was the first addition to the corporate headquarters in 1950. The space features an atrium with beautifully crafted overhanging glass — it’s where modern meets vintage and is currently available for Vitamix company events only.
In addition to opening the new facilities at the ribbon cutting ceremony, employees received recognition awards, and there were tours of the Barnard Homestead and Vitamix Museum.