About Arran Stephens
Arran Stephens has been at the leading edge of the organic food movement for most of his 7 decades. He and wife Ratana co-founded Nature’s Path Organic Foods in 1985—with roots going back to Goldstream Berry Paradise—the family farm on Vancouver Island where Arran and older brother Godfrey (sculptor/artist/boatbuilder/storyteller http://www.godfreystephensart.com) were raised by their Mum & Dad, Gwen & Rupert.
Arran pursued a career in fine arts through painting and poetry, and had two major exhibitions before age 21. After returning from seven transformative months in India with his revered meditation teacher, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, starting with only $7, he established Canada’s first vegetarian restaurant in 1967 that, over three decades, served millions of meals. In 1968-9, he returned to India, was introduced to, and married Ratana. In 1971, he opened LifeStream Natural Foods, which became Canada’s largest natural organic foods company. After a partnership impasse that led to its sale in 1981, Arran and Ratana went on to found Nature’s Path out of the back of their restaurant, and then bought back Lifestream from Kraft/Philip Morris in 1995.
Today, Nature’s Path is North America’s largest organic and independent cereal company with state-of-the-art factories in BC, WA and WI, employing hundreds of valued team members and providing markets for scores of independent organic family farmers via their delicious non-GMO cereals, granola bars, waffles, mixes and toaster pastries. The company produces many gluten-free products that taste great and made with simple, wholegrain ingredients. Through an unwavering commitment to quality, product excellence, mutual respect, sustainability and authenticity, Nature’s Path has been rewarded with great public trust. In November of 2012, Que Pasa Mexican Foods joined the NP family (arguably the best tasting organic corn tortilla chips and salsa anywhere!)
Bucking the M& trends in the organic foods industry, Nature’s Path remains family owned and independent, committed to bettering the world we all share.
Arran & Ratana have four children and four grandchildren.
Daughter #3, Jyoti is Director of Human Resources and Sustainability. She and Alex Ejsmont, lawyer and entrepreneur were married in a beautiful ceremony August 31, 2013, and are currently honeymooning in Bali!
Son Arjan is Executive VP of Sales, Marketing and Innovation. He is married to Dr. Rimjhim Duggal-Stephens, MD, who is doing further studies in homeopathy and naturopathy.
Daughter #1 Shanti and her husband Markus own and operate Manna Organics (www.mannaorganicbakery.com) in Lisle, Illinois, producing a delicious range of sprouted organic Manna Bread(r), organic Bavarian sourdough breads, and recently introduced a line of delicious gluten free breads and kale chips. (Manna Bread was begun by Arran & Ratana in 1984, and later transferred the business to Markus and Shanti).
Daughter #2, Gurdeep, MSc. is Asset Manager, accomplished artiste, classical and jazz singer/songwriter, with several CDs of her recorded voice and songs. She is married to Dr. Pascal Courty, Economist who teaches at UVIC. Her blog is fascinating, artsy, intelligent, activist and fun: http://thedeepersideblog.com/
Arran is the author of Journey to the Luminous (sold out), Moth & the Flame (web version only), Viaje a lo Luminoso (Spanish), and Co-author with Eliot Jay Rosen, The Compassionate Diet—How What You Eat Can Change Your Life and Save the Planet, published by Rodale Books, May 26, 2011.
- 2002: Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of The Year
- 2005: Hall of Fame Award, Canadian Health Food Association
- 2004-5 & 6: “Canada’s Best 100 Employers” (MacLean’s Magazine)
- 2007: Schumacher Sustainability Award
- 2008: Leadership Award, BC Food Science & Technology
- 2009-12: “Canada’s Top 30 Greenest Companies to work for,” MacLean’s Magazine
- 2010: Sustainability Award (first ever), BC Food Manufacturers Association.
- 2013: Leadership Award Leadership Award for Character, Vision, and Impact at The Leadership Institute’s launch event.[11 by the Open Center of NYC
- 2013: Hall of Legends Award by New Hope Media, Anaheim, CA (shared with Ratana)
- 2013: Growing Organic Award by the Organic Trade Association, Baltimore, MD (shared with Ratana)
- 2014: Award for Leadership in Sustainability, Food In Canada
- 2010-15: BC’s Top Employer, Vancouver Sun
- 2010-15: Canada’s Greenest Employer, Globe and Mail
- 2014-15 Canada’s Top 100 Employer, Globe and Mail
- 2014-15: Ten Best Companies to Work for in Canada, Financial Post
- 2015: Canada’s best small and medium businesses, Globe and Mail
- 2015: Business Excellence Award – Leadership, Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Arran currently gives much of his time to various non-profit boards, including the SOS Meditation & Ecology Centre (Chair and garden director) and the Richmond Food Security Society (Chair). He has also served on the Organic Trade Association leading up to, and during the USDA Organic Rule adoption, and The Rodale Institute, (Director). In line with its giving back philosophy, Nature’s Path has donated generously to various not-for-profit organizations, including Vancouver General Hospital, food banks, community organic gardens, and other non profits that protect endangered habitats and species.