Founded in 1971 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan by Roy Sangster, Sangster’s Organization is a leading family owned and operated franchise of vitamins, minerals, herbal and sports supplements, as well as natural and organic foods and natural body care products. Darryl Sangster has been the CEO since 2010—the same year that the company purchased a manufacturing plant. Since its beginnings, the company has continued to grow, expanding its customer base throughout Canada.
Quality of the Brand
In addition to carrying other national brands, Sangster’s sells their own exclusive label, allowing them to ensure quality control so that their products meet the highest standards. Sangster’s manufacturing plant produces all of their vegetarian-capsuled supplements, packages their own protein supplements and some of their organic foods.
“Sangster’s is an integrated vertical system in that we purchase raw materials and manufacture our own products for our brand. We also have a distribution company as well. This has helped us have a lot more control over the quality and the types of products that we can provide to our customers,” says Wanda Wilson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We are fully aware of where our products come from, because we’re making them. We adhere to the highest standards of manufacturing, we are able to let our consumers know where these products come from, and in this way, we are able to support many local and Canadian suppliers as well.”
Sangster’s sells a wide variety of products for people with all different types of nutritional needs. For instance, black cherry juice concentrate helps to relieve pain associated with arthritis and gout, while bergamot oil is commonly used to treat colds and flus. Their natural soaps, shampoos and lotions are gentle for the skin and free of harmful chemicals and petroleum. Other products include digestion aids, cleansing kits and more.
Growing the Company
Through their quality products and dedicated franchisees, Sangster’s is looking to expand their presence throughout Canada.
“We want to expand out into the west, specifically within Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We would also love to be able to expand into southern Ontario and the Okanagan region in British Columbia. We have a store out in New Brunswick and we’d love to be able to expand more in that area as well,” says Wilson.
There are two business models for those interested in becoming a franchisee: one is to operate one of Sangster’s Health Centres, which are franchises under 1,000 square feet, wherein owners sell primarily supplements, sports nutrition and natural body care products. A few years ago, Sangster’s also implemented Sangster’s Organic Market business model, wherein owners manage approximately 2,000 square-foot franchises. This alternate business model offers franchises with a much wider selection in organic foods, including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
“As a franchised system, our focus is to continue to franchise across Canada. That process involves looking for people who have an interest or passion in the health food industry and want to own their own business,” explains Wilson.
In fact, Wilson attributes part of Sangster’s success to it being a franchised system that is based on a family legacy, as the corporate structure allows passionate individuals to thrive. The company embraces change, whether this entails the decision to create a new product, or something comparatively much larger—such as purchasing a manufacturing plant or introducing a new business model for franchisees.
“It plays into a lot of passion and desire to make sure that we’re still viable and relevant year after year. It leads into always looking for new things, whether it’s new technology for our stores or new and innovative products for the consumer. We’re always looking to change and improve ourselves,” she says.
Educating the Public
Sangster’s understands the importance of education in a field that’s constantly changing and growing. As increasing numbers of people are becoming interested in preventive care and eating organic, it is crucial to keep up-to-date and knowledgeable within the health food industry.
“We strongly believe in education: education for our franchisees and for their staff. The more they know and the more educated they are in our industry, the better they will be at providing good choices for the consumer and also providing education to the consumer,” Wilson states.
Sangster’s keeps a close relationship with their franchisees to ensure that they communicate effectively with each other, listen to the franchisees’ needs and maintain a good partnership. As one of their main corporate goals is to provide a generous selection of high quality natural products to consumers, having passionate and educated franchisees is key.
“Whether it’s to our franchised system or to the consumer, providing good quality products and educated advice is our main focus,” says Wilson.
People who are interested in learning more about how to live a natural lifestyle and sharing that knowledge with others are prime candidates for joining the Sangster’s team. Being a franchisee provides job satisfaction by giving franchisees a platform to build open, honest relationships with customers and work with a positive team with good family values.
“We’re looking for people who want to make a difference in people’s lives in a healthy, natural way. This is really a fun industry because it’s constantly changing. It’s growing and growing year after year, especially within the organic category,” says Wilson.