Based in Kelowna a family run company is making headlines in Hollywood with what they call ‘the ultimate baby bottle’.
Adiri Natural Nurser Bottles are the first of its kind to feel and function like a mother’s breast. It is also BPA free and made from food grade silicone.
The Adiri brand has been around for several years , featured in People Magazine and used by Jennifer Lopez in the movie “The Back up Plan”, but at $18 a bottle the product was not profiting well in the hard economic times.
So, in October of 2012 President and and CEO Antal (Tony) Markus , re-vamped, re-marketed and re-launched the product
“We spent the last two years retooling and redeveloping the existing technology so it was more affordable and the engineering was better. “
Originally sold in boutique shops and online the product will now be retailed in Walmart stores across the country for around $10 to $12.
A price point that resonates with Markus’ son, employee and father of a new born baby, who's taken to using the nurser.
“What happened was at the hospital she was losing a little bit of weight so the doctors asked for us to supplement her in the beginning. The first time she took to the bottle, and ever since then we continue to top her off with her bottle once mom is finished,” explains the new dad Brent Markus.
Brent isn’t the only family member involved with the company, either, his three brothers and mother also play key roles.
Designer and eldest son Anthony Markus says, some days it takes some patience to work side by side with family, but it’s all worth it for something they believe in.
“We look out for what is in the best interest of the product, the consumer and retailers. So we all want to make sure that this product is diverse and meets all the requirements,” states Anthony.
The re-launch has also garnered some international attention, with the possibility of an ‘A’ celebrity endorsement.
“We’ve had interest from Dr. Oz to go on his show, but we want to ramp up so we have enough capabilities, so when you do a show with Dr.Oz and he endorses the product you need a lot of inventory,” Markus says.
As it stands the product is getting to be too big for this small Kelowna company.
“Too much good business early can be a problem too, and we’re facing that now. That’s why we’re taking on an equitable partner in the US to be able to roll out (the product) to retailers down there,” explains CEO Markus.
As a man who has spent the last 30 years in mergers and acquisitions, Markus is prepared to do the leg work to get the inventory ready for all those who want it.
With a group of 30 investors the company will relocate to a larger space, roll out their product in Canadian Walmart stores this spring and gear up to take on retailers to the south come August.
- With Files Contributed by Ragnar Haagen