When starting their company in 1997, Albert Locke, 46, and Terry Triplett, 38, gave its name much thought. “We named it Adventure International because we wanted it to be an exciting journey for us and our associates,” explains Locke.
They’ve not been disappointed. Sales of their first product, Tropical Sunrise, a weight loss and health maintenance drink, are increasing each month. After just two and a half years in business, the pair boast revenues of $600,000, double those of a year ago.
Locke and Triplett met 10 years ago in Bakersfield, California, on the docks of Carnation Foods. Locke owned a trucking company and Triplett was a warehouse supervisor.
They worked for Nutrition Express, which sold health and nutrition products, and also became area distributors for Genique International, a Los Angeles-based network marketing company that carries health and nutrition products.
When Genique changed its formula and sales slowed, they started working with Excell Telecommunications full-time. They became executive directors and conducted training seminars, which gave them business management experience.
In 1997, to learn more about shipping products, they bought a National Mail Center franchise in Bakersfield for $10,000.
At night, the two would meet to plan their first product. Already familiar with nutritional products, they researched and tested numerous formulas. The recipe for Tropical Sunrise consists of 36 herbs and nutritional foods, including aloe vera, echinacea and wheat grass.
They took the formula to Dr. Ken Ferguson, a Los Angeles-based family practitioner who uses alternative therapies, to make sure it was nutritionally balanced and safe. While finalizing the recipe, they searched for a manufacturer. They quizzed business associates, looked through library lists and scoured the yellow pages to find one who could meet their production demands and ensure that every bottle complied with pharmaceutical standards. They found a Texas manufacturer that grows the aloe and coordinates the importation of other ingredients from the U.S. and abroad.
To get the word out about their company, they set up booths at conventions, expos and trade shows nationwide. “The response was overwhelming, and we started asking for dealers to sell the product,” says Triplett. “At our first show, we gave out free samples and sold everything we brought (30 to 40 cases) in one and a half days.”
In 1999, to raise capital to add to the $150,000 they’d already raised from small investors, they sold their mail business for $40,000 to a local businessman. They now have about 100 dealers and five employees.
Locke and Triplett are looking across the country for more investors and dealers, and they’d like to add more products to their line.
Adventure International, 6399 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 309, Los Angeles, CA 90048; 323-951-0379; ww.tropicalsunrise.com.