FARM FRESH: The aloe-rich, user-friendly line is great for hair and skin care.
WHEN Managing Director George Clarke says his Nutraganics line of products are all-natural, he means you’re getting the real deal. They last from three months up to a year, providing excellent results. Started in 2012 but officially hitting the market in 2014, Nutraganics offers skin-care goodies chiefly made from Jamaican-grown sinkle bible (aka aloe vera) and lemongrass.
Their inventory includes the aloe shea and body butter, aloe vera lotion, aloe vera shampoo and body wash, a skin healing and soothing spray and a daily moisturizing spritz. But most intriguing of all is the aloe vera gel – the bottled raw extract said to be effective for treating bites and burns.
“We wanted the products to be as natural as possible, with minimum preservatives. They last up to a year so we encourage our customers to use and buy again,” says Clarke, a UWI-trained biochemist who decided to start a family business with his sister, Vanessa. “Our aloe is grown here; our lemongrass is grown here, so nothing is imported. They are excellent for skin-care, moisturizing and healing.”
The Clarkes have based their operations in Glengoffe, St. Catherine, where they grow the aloe, lemongrass and other plants on 14 acres of family land. Since getting established, the Nutraganics line has found its way onto pharmacy shelves and into gift shops on the north coast.
“We mainly target health-conscious Jamaicans and people with natural hair. Healthy-living buffs,” says Vanessa, who handles the PR and marketing. It was her idea to introduce the Nutraganics travel packs – collections of the products available in neat mini-packages perfect for the on-the-go set and frequent fliers.
For the 38-year-old George Clarke, growing the business has been an interesting ride. As expected, there have been bumps in the road. “As a small business, you know you’ll have challenges like getting access to funds. There is still a lot of bureaucracy in the government system, and there are several other hurdles to deal with. But we have decided to stick it out.”
As such, he remains optimistic about the future of Nutraganics. “One of the long-term goals is to export; to get into the overseas market,” he says. “A more short-term goal is to get into more local stores, hotels and spas.”