A locally-based online business has partnered with one of Gig Harbor’s well-established brick-and-mortar businesses to broaden its reach in the marketplace.
Evergreen Nutritionals of Fox Island recently connected with Gig Harbor’s Ace Hardware to sell the skin care product Grampa’s Salve.
A topical analgesic, Grampa’s Salve aims to relieve pain brought on by a variety of conditions, including canker sores, burns, bee stings, toenail fungus, itching, psoriasis, and eczema, which can cause skin inflammation.
Grampa’s Salve can also relieve skin conditions such as scleroderma — the tightening of skin in joint areas — as well as rosacea, which causes redness and dryness of the face.
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Bill Spencer, owner of Evergreen Nutritionals, said joining forces with Ace Hardware came about somewhat by accident.
“There was a customer asking about it,” Spencer said of Grampa’s Salve, who added that the person couldn’t find the product in local stores.
Doug Post, 58, manager of the Ace Hardware located at Harbor Plaza on Point Fosdick Drive in Gig Harbor, found Spencer’s phone number in February and called him. Post and Spencer had a productive conversation about the possibility of selling Grampa’s Salve in-store.
“Ace Hardware is a locally owned and operated, hometown hardware store,” Post said. “We really enjoy selling local products here.”
While all of Evergreen Nutritionals’ products are available on its website, some are also sold in Bartell Drugs stores, and now, Ace Hardware.
Lactzyme, tablets intended to help people who suffer from lactose intolerance, and XcuseMe, which helps prevent gas, are both Evergreen Nutritionals dietary supplements sold in more than 50 Bartell Drugs stores in western Washington.
Evergreen Nutritionals manufactures a total of eight products, including four skin care products — Grampa’s Salve and Vitamin E in the form of a spray, oil, and cream — and four dietary supplements, which are Lactzyme, XcuseMe, TheraGar and Acid Redux.
“I came up with the name Acid Redux myself,” Spencer said. “I remember going to the trademark office and being surprised that no one had claimed it.”
All of Evergreen Nutritionals products are available at eNutritionals.net.
Spencer, who graduated from Dartmouth College in 1963 with a degree in sociology, took a rather circuitous route to his current profession. First, he joined the U.S. Air Force, and then returned to school to study marketing and advertising at the University of Missouri.
In 1973, Spencer relocated from Cincinnati to Fox Island to work in the marketing department at Nalley’s Fine Foods in Tacoma.
Evergreen Nutritionals was established in 2002 after Spencer purchased dietary supplement products previously owned by another business. Spencer’s products, which are manufactured in Vancouver, Washington, are stored in Puyallup.
Evergreen Nutritionals products are used by people of all ages who have a variety of dietary or skin conditions, including cuts and scrapes that gardeners might encounter with the arrival of spring, Spencer said.
Spencer is glad that his merchandise is increasingly available to local residents, as well as customers from all over the world who visit the Evergreen Nutritionals website.
“There are people from the UK and Australia and South Africa,” said Spencer. “And a lot from Canada, too.”
Allison Needles, a Covington-based freelance writer and member of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University, can be reached at email@example.com.