The story starts really starts in 1964. An 8-year-old boy caught the spirit of entrepreneurial dreams by reselling candy to local kids in his neighborhood. The first rule of business — "Find a Need and Fill It" was fulfilled because this boy wanted to fulfill his need of being able to buy candy for himself!
In the 9th grade, he started a paper route. He learned 2 facts — customers are demanding and good service is rewarded. He served for 4 years, and was twice named "Paper Boy of the Year".
This boy — Harry Weyandt — has always dreamt about owning his own business. While preparing for the famous Southern California earthquakes, he saw a need. He learned about emergency preparedness, but his neighbors did not. So he started to help them out—he taught them what he knew, and then started to provide the products they needed. He started a "One Stop Shopping" business specializing in emergency preparedness supplies. He began the business with a $75.00 classified ad.
Harry and his wife Vickie began their dream business in the back bedroom of the home. Soon their garage became their first warehouse. Always thinking ahead and wanting to appear well established, they acted "as if" they were already the industry leaders. When customers would call to check on the status of their order, they would say "Let me check with the warehouse," put the customer on hold, and run out to the garage.
Harry worked a 3rd shift at night to support their growing business. Four years later, they expanded into their first real store and warehouse, an amazing 1,500 square feet and a 3-year lease. He says this was the scariest decision he ever had to make.
With their dedication to customer service, their business grew so quickly that they moved in 18 months to a 4,300 sq ft facility. Within 2½ years, they realized their ultimate dream of moving the national mail-order business and their family to Utah. Settling in Heber City, they moved into an 11,000 sq ft building on Main Street. Harry recalls that the facility was "huge" and would last for at least another 10 years.
Surprise! It lasted only 4 more years and they were bursting at the seams. After finding the appropriate property, they decided to build a new state-of-the-art facility. They built the "Crown Jewel" of the Heber Industrial Park. This ultra-modern mail-order fulfillment center and corporate headquarters includes over 44,000 sq ft of showroom, offices, and warehouse space. Today, they have become the largest mail-order company in the nation specializing in freeze-dried food and emergency preparedness supplies.
Nitro-Pak has donated over $100,000 worth of food to the Utah Food Bank, the Rescue Mission, and to other charities for the homeless in Salt Lake City and Heber City.
Articles about Nitro-Pak range from local newspapers, Salt Lake Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Associated Press, New York Times, Channel 4 "Eye Witness" News, and Nitro-Pak was excited to be mentioned in an article in the Wall Street Journal. Nitro-Pak was selected by the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce as the business of the year in 1999.
Still enthusiastic about getting the nation prepared, Harry has been interviewed on numerous radio and television shows, including twice on CNN. He will talk your ear off about the value of having "security and peace of mind" for your family. Listen up — he makes some very good points.