Spencer Sheinin was working as an investment banker at the height of the tech boom in the late 1990s. He remembers shaking his head at the high prices pie-in-the-sky dot.com businesses were fetching.
“[I] couldn’t understand what tech businesses were being sold for that never sold a dime’s worth of product,” he said.
When Sheinin and his business partner walked into Norwood Packaging, the Surrey company they would end up buying, they saw a reassuringly real product — lip balm — coming off the production line.
“We just looked at it and said wow, all we have to do is do this a little bit better than the next person.”
While it wasn’t quite that straightforward, Sheinin remains passionate about his company and the products it produces. In addition to lipbalm, Norwood makes skin cream and sunscreen for store brands like Shoppers Drug Mart and Safeway. They also manufacture products for other brands.
“We’re experts in formula development and manufacturing and supporting other brand owners,” he said.
Under Sheinin’s leadership, the company has had a 100% successful regulatory audit history and no adverse-reaction recalls. Norwood is the largest private-label lip balm supplier in Canada.
Sheinin is looking forward to introducing more natural products, an area where demand is growing. Some of those products will be on sale soon at stores like Rexall and Loblaws.
“We’ve been able to create true green products that are as effective as their conventional counterparts,” he said. •