PORTLAND, Oregon — To say Steviva Ingredients has grown since its inception in Thom King’s garage in 1999 is an understatement. With annual sales in excess of $10 million and a staff of 14 employees, the local clean-label sweetening solutions supplier shows no sign of slowing down. Just this month, the Portland-based company recently earned its Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 2 certification at its new headquarters to the historic Guilds Lakes area in Portland.
SQF Level 2 Certification:
Administered by the Food Marketing Institute and recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative, SQF is a rigorous food-safety management system that focuses on the verification and validation of stringent food-safety and quality systems throughout the food supply chain.
“Ensuring the highest possible standards for quality control and food safety drives everything we do,” said Yishu Hou, quality and document control specialist at Steviva Ingredients. “This certification reinforces that commitment to our customers as a reliable, quality supply-chain partner.”
At 26,500 square feet, Steviva’s new headquarters building is four times as large as its previous location, which the company occupied for just three years before outgrowing. In addition to an expansive production facility and warehouse, the company has installed employee-centric amenities, including a yoga studio, archery range, rock-climbing wall and organic garden. Employees are encouraged to participate in the complimentary classes offered weekly by a local certified yoga instructor in its studio, build their archery skills or strength at the rock-climbing wall before and after work, during breaks, at lunchtime and during team-building sessions.
Portland native Ian Wilson, founder of Portland Edible Gardens has installed a six-bay, raised-bed garden on the company property and is guiding employees in the planting, caring and harvesting of plants, which include tomatoes, carrots, beets, peppers, lettuces of all kinds, green beans, squash, basil, cucumber and stevia.
“Working with Steviva’s employees in the garden has been a total joy for me,” said Wilson. “It is clear that they are truly invested in the success of this garden and I can’t help but believe that they feel the same way about the work they do every day for Steviva. What started as a place for learning and fun has grown into a powerful and important piece of a thriving business.”
“Our goal is to create the type of environment where people can say, ‘I GET to go to work’ instead of, ‘I have to go to work,’ ” said Thom King, founder, president and CEO of Steviva Ingredients. “These kinds of community-building wellness activities allow our employees to recharge and help grow skill sets that build a sense of well-being and overarching success.”
Future plans include the buildout of a test kitchen at its headquarters facility. Steviva is in the process of procuring equipment to enable packing and co-packing in single-serve liquid sachets and powder packets, as well as a bottle-filling line and bag fillers for co-packing. The company is also in the process of building regional distribution centers in the Midwest and East coast.
About Safe Quality Food (SQF) program:
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program, a division of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. It is the only major system recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that offers third-party accredited certification for primary production, food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management. http://www.sqfi.com/about-sqf/
About Steviva Ingredients:
Steviva Ingredients Inc. is a global ingredient supplier with a focus on all-natural, high-intensity sweeteners and custom sweetening solutions for manufacturers. Steviva Ingredients sweeteners and bulk ingredients are GMO-free, soy-free, corn-free and allergen-free. More information is available at: www.stevivaingredients.com.